This simply boggles my mind. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
Just a few of the serious financial problems facing California include unfunded public employee pension promises, a potential state credit downgrade, an unprecedented homeless crisis, and a net out-migration of 912,000 residents since 2010.
One easy step California can take is to join every other state in the union and open up its state checkbook for review. Allowing citizens, journalists, watchdogs, academics, and public policy experts to review state spending would help the state get its fiscal house in order.
Unfortunately, last fall, California State Controller Betty Yee (pictured) rejected our sunshine request for the state checkbook. Oddly, the rejection didn’t argue the law, but instead claimed that the controller couldn’t locate a single one of the 49 million bills she paid last year.
This admission provides a troubling clue to California taxpayers who are wondering how and where their money is being spent. The answer is the people spending it literally don’t know. Or they at least say that don’t.
It is of course unimaginable, and laughable, that the state that is home to Silicon Valley can’t put basic transparency tech in place. That state’s feigned tech illiteracy begs the question: What are they trying to hide?
. . .
So, our organization at OpenTheBooks.com, alongside our attorneys at Cause of Action Institute, a government oversight organization, filed an open records lawsuit in Sacramento state court. Our lawsuit begins the process of forcing open the state’s line-by-line expenditures.
There’s more at the link.
How on earth could any state employee – much less its chief accountant – think they could get away with refusing to show what they’re doing with public money? No state in the Union can do that, much less the federal government. (They might lie about it, of course, but those lies can be – and frequently are – uncovered, making them problematic for those who use them.)
I wish Open The Books every success in their lawsuit, and I look forward to seeing what they uncover. If California isn’t accounting for well over $300 billion every year in government expenditures, one does wonder where it’s going . . .