We've learned more about Comptroller Susan Combs' ideas for opening up more of her agency's data, as she announced at last week's TribLive event.

Here's a breakdown of the plans, according to Combs spokesman Allen Spelce:

• Placing responses to common open-records requests on a public server free for anyone to download

• Expanding the "Where The Money Goes" feature, which allows users to search for state spending

• Making as many as 15 new raw data sets, in text and Microsoft Excel formats, available and free to download

Spelce said the agency has set a goal of having the new features by April. We'll track the progress and report back on the initiative, which we hope might lead to other agencies doing the same.

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The Texas Ethics Commission, for example, last week decided to make its full campaign-finance database available for download. That's 350 MB of data, and more than 6 million records, at no charge.

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