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Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Ulysses Currie is blocking a transparency bill , which would require the state to create a website that would post the details of any expenditure over $25,000.

Currie cited his concern that the website would cost $300,000 to build and operate.

Funny, when the possibility of good accountability raises its head, Currie suddenly finds religion on concern for spending. Meanwhile Currie voted against an amendment , which would have stripped $1,000,000 from the state budget to build a “multicultural center” for the Central American Solidarity Association (CASA).

Perhaps the question of what constitutes legitimate government functions and responsibilities is what confounds the good senator. After all this is guy who said, “Lobbyists almost have no influence on the vote.”

If we had a transparency law on the books we might have known sooner about the spending shenanigans at Morgan State and St. Mary’s College. Spending–in the case of St. Mary’s College — which built a $6.7 million , 7,000 square foot waterfront development a mere 50 feet from the riverfront.

I am curious if Governor O’Malley’s vaunted State Stat program, which Currie thinks is sufficient for accountability, picked up on this one. Don’t bet on it. Even though the governor stated–in full throated self righteous sanctimony–“We are going to stop encroachment on our precious shoreline,” REFUSED a request to investigate St. Mary’s building on the waterfront.

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