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This ballot initiative dates from 2003, when Steve Mozena was pursuing his goal of asking his fellow Californian voters to support a post the finances ballot initiative. Mr. Mozena did not have the thousands of volunteers needed to gather the necessary signatures, and nor did he have the $1 million that would have been needed to pay to have the signatures gathered. The initiative is dormant as of February 2011 but could be revived with sufficient funds.

Proposed CA Initiative

The Attorney General of California has prepared the following title and summary below of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:



SUMMARY: Requires each state agency, at the end of each business day, to post on its website:

(1) relevant names, dates and amounts of every check, credit card or cash transaction, or other agency expenditure; and

(2) revenue sources, including, but not limited to, taxes and fees, and the date, amount of revenue, and fund into which the revenue is deposited.

The Controller in consultation with the Treasurer and Department of Finance shall create guidelines and procedures to standardize the postings in the form of a checkbook register.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

This measure would have the following major state fiscal effects: Potential one-time costs of over $200 million and annual costs in the tens of millions of dollars for the development, implementation, maintenance, and use of a new data collection and reporting system.

Elizabeth G. Hill
Steve Peace
Hon Bill Lockyer
Elizabeth G. Hill
Steve Peace
Honorable Bill Lockyer

Proponent Steve Mozena's Note: In the fiscal impact study conducted for the "Post the Finances" initiative by Elizabeth G. Hill, Legislative Analyst, and Steve Peace, Director of Finance, which was sent to Honorable Bill Lockyer, California Attorney General, the authors noted that "The public reporting of detailed fiscal information could result in savings related to improved fiscal resource management. The magnitude of such savings is unknown."

The budget of California for 2003-04 is $98.9 billion. Even if Post the Finances results in savings to the California taxpayers of 1 percent, a fairly conservative estimate, this would save nearly a billion dollars. Savings of a mere 0.5 percent, through a reduction in waste, fraud and mismanagement, would be two and half times the estimate of the initial cost of implementing the measure. See the fiscal impact estimate above.
Steve Mozena


The proposed statutory amendment's full title and text of the measure reads as follows:




SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Fiscal Accountability in State Government Act.

SECTION 2. The people of the State of California find and declare all of the following:

(a) The people of California expect and deserve financial accountability from the state government.

(b) In view of the ongoing need for state fiscal accountability, and the current state of information technology, the time has arrived for the daily posting of all California state finances on the Internet.

(c) The daily posting of state finances on the Internet and the availability of this financial information to the public will help thwart fiscal improprieties.

(d) Taxpayers have an absolute legal right to state financial records to inform them about the amount of revenue collected by the state and the manner n which those funds are spent.

(e) It is the intent of the people that postings on state agency Web Sites include the checkbook registers of state revenues and expenditures and thus provide taxpayers with a simple and easy method to review state fiscal data.

(f) With increased knowledge of state fiscal affairs, an informed citizenry will be able to demand fiscal accountability from state government.

(g) The daily posting of all state government revenues and expenditures will help control spending, trim excess fat, and even reduce taxes by keeping state finances in plain view of the citizenry.

SECTION 3. Section 16318 is added to the Government Code, to read: 16318.

(a) Each state agency shall post on its Web site at the close of each business day any expenditures made and revenues credited to that agency on that day. The posting shall include relevant names, dates, and amounts of each and every check, credit card transaction, cash transaction, or other expenditure by the agency. With respect to the revenue, the posting shall include the sources of revenue, including, but not limited to, taxes and fees, and the date, amount of the revenue, and the fund into which the revenue is deposited, thus providing a money trail of all revenues and expenditures for the state agency.

(b) The posting shall include a format that can be viewed and retrieved by the public in the form of a checkbook register.

(c) The Controller, in consultation with the Treasurer and the Department of Finance, shall adopt guidelines and procedures to ensure that the posting of state financial information on the State of California Web sites by state agencies is standardized.

(d) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Revenues" include funds appropriated from the General Fund and allocated to the state agency, and funds appropriated from special funds to the agency, including funds that become available to the agency because of any fees, fines, or other payments into a special fund that are continuously appropriated to the agency.

(2) "State agency" means every state office, department, division, bureau, board, commission, superior court, Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the California State University, the University of California, and the Legislature, and is intended to be all inclusive.

(e) This section shall become effective only when it is submitted to, and approved by, the voters of California, pursuant to subdivision

(c) of Section 10 of Article II of the California Constitution. This section shall be implemented within 120 days of its date of passage by the voters.

SECTION 4. Pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10 of Article II of the California Constitution, the provisions of this act may be amended only with the approval of the electors by a vote of registered, qualified voters of the state.

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Steve Mozena, Post the Finances, P.O. Box 92679, Long Beach, CA 90809, (562)494-9606

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