Bill to Improve Accessibility of State Budget Data Clears First Hurdle

Senate Government and Finance Committee Votes Unanimously in Favor

March 29, 2017

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Government and Finance Committee voted with unanimous, bi-partisan support for Senate Bill 683, a measure by State Senator Henry Stern to require the state's annual budget be made available to the public in a downloadable, spreadsheet format.

“These are taxpayer’s dollars, they are spent on incredibly important programs but too often there is not enough access to this information in a format that not just government officials and state agencies can read but that third parties can access also,” said Senator Stern while presenting his bill during the committee hearing.

Currently the public can access the Governor’s budget either in paper or in PDF format on the Department of Finance website. This practice limits the ability for individuals or public and private entities who may wish to create open data platforms and other tools for comparative analysis with the annual budget.

Also testifying on behalf of the measure was Andrea Deveau of TechNet, a network representing the nation’s leading technology companies. “We thank the Senator for his leadership with SB 683. It’s a common-sense approach and supports open data and the use of technology in a way that keeps continues to keep California leading in transparency and innovation.”

###

Contact: Morgan.Culbertson@sen.ca.gov  Phone: (916) 651-4027