Texas is now home to the only TWO counties in the nation opening their books up to taxpayers for real-time review. The first was COllin County, in north Texas. Now comes word that commissioners in east Texas’ Smith County have thrown sunlight on their expenses.

My good friend JoAnn Fleming and her fellow county commissioners decided this week to make their budget transparent — up to and including putting their check register online. This is a great step that is to be congratulated. Nothing helps reform government like the cleansing sunlight of fiscal transparency.

Fleming is quoted in the Tyler newspaper as saying, “I think the citizens deserve to have open access to records and see where the money is going. There is no more openness than to have your checkbook open where everybody can see it.”

The measure passed unanimously. With 254 counties in Texas, who’ll be next?

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."