Senators to post funding requests

Oregon residents will soon get a chance to see just who in the state is asking for federal funds and weigh in on whether they should get the money, under a new system being put in place by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

Every spring, as Congress works on its annual budget bill, cities, counties, universities, transportation districts and private interest groups ask for money.

This year, Wyden and Merkley will post on their Web sites the requests that make the first cut and get sent on to appropriations subcommittees for consideration.

Site visitors will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

Information about the requests will start going up on the Web sites beginning in early March and running through late April, said Tom Towslee, a Wyden spokesman.

The move is part of an effort to make government more transparent, the senators said in a news release.

“We are now experiencing a very difficult economic stretch where tax dollars are extremely scarce at the very time that they are desperately needed to stimulate and stabilize the economy,” Wyden said.