Using Technology to Make Government More Open

Using Technology to Make Government More Open

There is no denying that the use of technology has exploded in recent years. Even
within the lifetimes of young children, technological devices have been
enhanced beyond our wildest imaginations.

Although government is often slow to respond to changing trends, in the Ohio House of Representatives, we are beginning to use technology to make government more efficient. That is good for both legislators and, most importantly, taxpayers.

For the first time, Ohioans are able to view hearings in the House Finance and
Appropriations Committee, of which I am a member. The committee is tasked with looking at Governor John Kasich’s budget plan, which is likely the largest bill
that will pass through the legislature during the next two years.

The hearings can be seen at www.OhioHouse.gov and at www.OhioChannel.org. They are streamed live, but are also archived so that they can be viewed at any time. I believe this is an exciting development because it makes the governmental process more open to the public. I hope to see it be expanded to other committees in the near future.

The committees themselves have become more technological as well. The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, for example, has utilized iPads rather than printing hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper. This saves taxpayer
dollars—not only on labor, but also paper, ink, toner and wear and tear on the

Consider that the governor’s budget proposal is about 4,200 pages long. In the past, a full copy would have been printed off for all 99 members, which would have totaled more than 415,000 pieces of paper—just for the budget alone! Now, that has been replaced by a more updated system that preserves tax dollars and is better for the environment.

Good government depends on an educated citizenry. People should not discover what their government is doing after the fact, but rather should be engaged every
step along the way. Recent developments in the House, including taking advantage of the technological resources available to us, has made state government in Ohio more open and accountable.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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