Budget, jobs websites launched in Idaho and Iowa

Last week, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the launch of a website designed to give Idahoans a clear accounting of how state money is being spent. And in Iowa, Governor Chet Culver unveiled a new website that will show were jobs are being created across the state.

Gov. Otter said that Efficiency.Idaho.gov will gives citizens a place to voice ideas and comment on how the state is spending taxpayers’ dollars. “We need your help. Government does not have a monopoly on good ideas,” Governor Otter wrote in a message on the front page of the site. “There are hundreds of thousands of smart, thoughtful and civic-minded people in Idaho with constructive and useful insights on what State government should do, what it can do better, and what it shouldn’t do at all.”

The website focuses on six main areas of expenditure, including Education, Public Safety and Health & Human Services. Users can drill down from those areas to see a number of sub-categories and comment on the numbers they see. State revenue totals are also outlined, showing 2010 net revenue, the state’s economic forecast and General Fund Revenue Book.

The input will be reviewed, and plans are in the works for highlighting and seeking public feedback on the results, Otter administration officials said.

In Iowa, Gov. Culver launched an online tool that visually maps how a $830 million, three-year jobs program is affecting various parts of the state. The new tool is available at the I-JOBS website and it allows users to sort jobs data on an interactive map with the ability to drill down to project type and name of I-JOBS funds recipient.

“As our state and nation continue to work our way out of the economic recession, I-JOBS is making an investment in our communities to improve infrastructure and support jobs without raising taxes,” Gov. Culver said in a statement. “I-JOBS is for all of Iowa, and this new online tool shows where funds are being committed and how they are supporting local projects.”

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