D+? That Seems Generous On Transparency

The PIRG today released their ratings on the transparency of state government spending.  And somehow California managed to not fail:


California gets a “D+” when it comes to openness about government spending, according to Following the Money 2011: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the second annual report of its kind by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG). Included with the report is an interactive online toolthat allows users to view what California is doing best and worst compared to other states’ transparency practices. 

“If California’s look hard enough at the budget voted on today they’ll notice some serious holes in their ability to follow the money,” said Pedro Morillas CALPIRG Consumer Advocate. “Billions of dollars in tax breaks and economic development subsidies are spent every year with no disclosure to the public of who gets them or how much they get.”

Now, considering that our budgets were done in the back rooms for so many years in the Big 5 process, it seems like we have a lot of room to improve on our transparency.  Check out the full report for some comparison between states.