February 15, 2011
Texans’ access to data about the state’s budget simply has not kept up with technology. There’s no reason that we should have so much access to so much information – and so many options for analyzing it – and yet be stuck with a set of scanned book pages to tell us how legislators are budgeting our money. This information must be made more publicly available.
This bill would require the state to post raw budget data online so Texans can sort through it and develop applications showing how public money is being spent. It would lay the groundwork for an unprecedented transparency system through which the public could do sophisticated data analyses – and find savings and efficiencies to help balance the budget.
I hope the data would provide base material allowing the creation of a Google for the budget, where people could ask their own questions about different parts of the budget and get up-to-the-minute answers. My bill is meant to deal only with budget data that’s publicly available now – and to make that data more relevant and revealing.