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
The Attorney General of California
has prepared the following title and summary below
of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:
MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS
STATE REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
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
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
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.
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."
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
AND TEXT OF INITIATIVE
The proposed statutory
amendment's full title and text of the measure reads
REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
1. This act shall be known and may
be cited as the Fiscal Accountability in State Government
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
(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.
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
(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.
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.
Steve Mozena, Post the Finances, P.O. Box 92679, Long Beach, CA 90809,