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State 'opens door' to on-line spending site

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ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans can use computers to find out that their governor's office spent $60 at Saint Agnes Baking Co. for "supplies."

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Dig a little deeper and a computer user can find it was for "food," but that's about it.

Still, learning about the $60 expenditure to a firm that claims "there's nothing ordinary about Saint Agnes' bread" is more than Minnesotans could have done a couple of days ago. Gov. Tim Pawlenty Thursday announced launch of a new Transparency and Accountability Project for Minnesota Web site at www.mmb.state.mn.us/tap.

"It's the state's checkbook," State Budget Director James Schowalter said.

The Web site allows Web surfers to look at how the state spends 85 percent of its money, Schowalter said.

Public employee salaries are not included on the site. They are public information, he added, but are on a different computer system.

Davis works for Forum Communciations Co., which owns the Daily Globe.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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