Late yesterday afternoon, the California State Senate voted unanimously to approve SB 598, the Open Financial Statements Act, to create the Open Financial Statements Commission, and take the first steps to transition state and local financial statements to a machine-readable format. SB 598 is headed to the Assembly for committee referral.
“Following a national trend in the private sector, we find that access to interoperable data reduces reporting time and costs, and can improve analysis and transparency in the bond market for local governments,” said Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), “I applaud my colleagues for taking the first step in modernizing California’s municipal finance reporting practices.”
SB 598 will work towards updating how we track taxpayer dollars by switching to a system that is more accessible, efficient, and user-friendly. Previously, the bill passed out of the Senate Governance & Finance and Governmental Organization Committees by unanimous votes, and has registered support from the California State Treasurer and the Data Coalition, among other state and national stakeholders.