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Collaboration, cooperation alive in Ohio

Politicians are accused often of being too loyal to their respective party lines to work together effectively. Indeed, it sometimes seems as if officeholders are more interested in protecting their own bureaucratic turf than in efficiency on behalf of the public.

But in Ohio, two state officials seem to have found a way past that.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Treasurer Robert Sprague, both Republicans, are tossing aside divisions over Ohio’s online checkbook in favor of doing what best serves taxpayers. Imagine that.

Under Gov. John Kasich’s administration, OhioCheckbook.com, a product of the state treasurer’s office; and the Office of Budget and Management’s Interactive Budget did not play well together. They were competing — redundant — sites where taxpayers could search for state spending information.

At the time, Kasich insisted the OBM could provide more thorough information, despite his Treasurer Josh Mandel launching Ohio Checkbook.com. Mandel claimed Kasich was trying to undermine the website.

Now, the plan is for OhioCheckbook.com to remain active, but to fold in the more detailed revenue information from the OBM. That will mean, better service, at a lower cost, and with more transparency for taxpayers.

Husted and Sprague seem more bent on collaboration than competition. Good for them.

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