03/17/2011 by California Forward
CA gets D+ for transparency
California has received a near failing grade for transparency of government, ranking 31 out of all 50 states.
The dismal marks come as lawmakers in Sacramento grapple over the budget and the governor’s proposed special election to vote on tax extensions, which if passed by the legislature would take place in June 2011.
The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), a progressive citizen’s rights organization, conducted the study. CALPIRG has called on the state to open its business up to the people by creating a website dedicated to government spending, legislative actions, and other examples of increased transparency.
Fourteen other states either created or improved transparency websites in 2010, earning them much more favorable grades. In all, 40 states have websites allowing residents to see detailed information about government contracts, spending, subsidies, and tax expenditures for all government entities.
The trend toward transparency across the country was seen equally in both red and blue states.
California did at least pass this year. In last year’s study, California earned an F in transparency.