by policy intern Eric Dunn
Budget transparency for the state of California is the subject of California Common Sense, a new website launched by Stanford University students and alumni. It includes reports and transparency tools that dig into the California budget and open data up to the public. Sunlight recently highlighted similar efforts in Minnesota and Oregon.
One of the tools available through CACS explores budget expenditures. This feature lets voters click on an issue area (like K-12 education) to see which agencies are spending money on that issue broken down by expenditure type.
Tools developed by third-party entities, like CACS, can help make the budget process at the state level more transparent. CACS is also circulating an online petition to Governor Jerry Brown that requests that more information about the budget be made available to the public.