Group says Minnesota's stimulus spending reporting lags

Common Cause Minnesota says the state needs to do a better job of explaining how it's spending its share of the economic stimulus money.

Common Cause Minnesota Executive Director Mike Dean cites a report from a group called "Good Jobs First" that says Minnesota's stimulus reporting falls behind that of many states.

The group ranks Minnesota tied for 34th place for not doing more on its website to clarify the stimulus money available and how it's bring spent.

"Just creating a website is not open and transparent, it really needs to be user-friendly and have information that individuals can actually use," Dean said.

Minnesota Management and Budget spokesman Curt Yoakum defends Minnesota's website, which he says continues to evolve.

"Quite frankly we just received the federal reporting requirements in the last two to three weeks of what they're expecting for all of this and as we know exactly what they want, we're incorporating that," he said. "I think you'll see changes not only in our own website but how we communicate about how stimulus dollars are being spent in the state."

The outside group's report says the portion of Minnesota's stimulus site that details construction work ranks among the top third of states.

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