Florida Gov. Bush unveils state's first e-budget

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's budget for fiscal 2000-2001 is the state's first ever in a World Wide Web-based, fully searchable format. The goal of the electronic budget is to give Florida residents greater access to the budget so they can see where every tax dollar is going, Bush said of his $49.8 billion plan.

"We believe that this is the first dynamic, Web-based and fully hyperlinked executive budget in the United States, [and] well could be the first dynamic e-budget of any governmental entity in the country or in the world," Bush said in a statement, adding that the traditional bureaucracy associated with government could be eliminated through his e-budget. "By making the budget dynamic and easily accessible via the Internet, state government is empowering citizens and destroying the barriers for those seeking to undertake greater civic responsibility," he said.

The e-budget also saved taxpayers $40,000 in printing costs, because only a few printed copies of the more than 670-page report were produced this year, said a Bush spokeswoman. The printed versions went to state legislators and the media and are available on request for state libraries, but the governor's office is pushing interested parties to the Web, she said.

The e-budget is available online at www.state.fl.us/budget. Bush is asking for feedback via e-mail at fl_governor@eog.state.fl.us.

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