The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 1, 2013
California's spending transparency ranks 49th among states

NEW_HUNDRED_DOLLAR_BILLS.JPGA group that lobbies for government openness has given California an "F" for spending transparency.

The California Public Interest Research Group and its national counterpart, USPIRG, hammer the Golden State in a report on states' use of web technology to open their books for public scrutiny.

The report issued last week assigns point totals and letter grades to all 50 states' transparency websites based on content and user friendliness.

The Golden State ranked 49th, with just 37 points out of a possible 100 points. North Dakota placed 50th, with 31 points.

The group's only "A" went to Texas. Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Oklahoma all received an "A-".

CALPIRG described California is a "failing state" because its online portal to spending data is shallow, doesn't allow vendor-specific searches and doesn't link to tax expenditure reports, among other shortcomings.

CALPIRG belongs to national network of groups that promote themselves as public advocates.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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