JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A new website that is designed to give users a comprehensive review of the Missouri state budget, with links to more detailed information, was launched on Tuesday.
The Missouri Office of Administration launched budgetexplorer.mo.gov as part of an effort to provide greater transparency to the State of Missouri budget.
“Taxpayers deserve a transparent resource to track how their money is being spent,” said Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman. “Creating an easily-accessible website with state budget information and departments’ performance measures is one of the Office of Administration’s strategic initiatives. I’m proud we are delivering this important initiative, and I’m proud that we designed the website deliberately to better serve our customers — the citizens of Missouri.”
The Missouri Budget Explorer was created to provide the public with an easy-to-use, one-stop resource for important information. The website enables citizens to explore the details of the budget, including the sources of the state’s revenues and how these monies are allocated among the 16 executive departments, the elected officials, the legislature, and the judiciary.
In addition to understanding better the overall state budgeting process, citizens will also be able to gain a better understanding of the role of each department and the services they provide, according to the Office of Administration.
Performance measures for each department’s programs will also be tracked on the website, starting in 2019.
“The Missouri Budget Explorer website is a straightforward and user-friendly tool that will greatly serve Missouri citizens in understanding the state budget,” said Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, chairman of the House Budget Committee. “As the chairman of the House Budget Committee, I applaud the Office of Administration for its diligence in providing the public a deeper and more transparent look into the state budget.”
The website’s home page features an interactive infographic detailing how many dollars were allocated to each department in the state’s current operating budget. Users can click on each department for more detailed information on how programs within the departments are funded.
The website features budget charts that allow citizens to understand at-a-glance how state funds are distributed, as well as summary documents for each department to give users more specific details as to how the budgets have changed from the previous year.
Links to the legislative budget bills and each department’s strategic management priorities will also be provided on the website.
The website will be updated twice a year — when Gov. Mike Parson releases his budget recommendations and when the General Assembly has passed the state budget. Budget information for each fiscal year — beginning with Fiscal Year 2019 — will be archived on the website.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.