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WE HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS...

After five years of opening California’s governments to the public, developing data-driven policy analysis, and educating citizens about how California governments work, the California Common Sense team is proud to announce our nationwide expansion to United States Common Sense.

Our mission remains the same, but we are excited to now provide data, open government resources, and analysis relevant to all 50 states and their local governments.

In addition to our CACS work, you can find our newly-enhanced nationwide research and data products at UScommonsense.org.

With your support, we’ll continue striving to make governments across the country more open, more accessible, and more accountable to you.

Sincerely,

The US Common Sense Team


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USCS in the Press

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Portantino Says Assembly Spending Records Mislead Public

California Common Sense said its computer analysis shows that numerous employees were moved off the rolls of member expenditures into leadership, committee, caucus, overhead or other accounting entities. The result is that member expenditures for personal staff were underreported by $2.75 million, according to the nonprofit political analysis group.

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/08/portantiono-says-assembly-spen.html
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Only one legislator releases budget info

{What we have is best we can do with what is out there,} said Dakin Sloss, president of California Common Sense and a senior at Stanford. Sloss disagreed with legislators who point to his website as the answer for public disclosure. He said the Assembly should release all office budgets as given to members, and up to date spending amounts, complete with extra allocations for special committee assignments and other perks. {It is the taxpayers money,} Sloss said. {Taxpayers should see it. End of story.}

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/24/only-one-legislator-releases-budget-info/
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Common Sense for California: Stanford Group Works to Fix Government With Data

California youth preparing to launch into adulthood have a problem. We want to live in California for the rest of our lives, but we are concerned about our state’s future. Thirty years ago, California had the best education system in the country and it was considered a promising frontier for expansion and innovation. Now, our school system is one of the worst, offering less to fewer people at an ever-mounting price. And although Silicon Valley offers the most cutting edge technology in our country, even internationally, our state government wavers on the brink of disaster because of poorly planned budgeting and an inefficient bureaucracy that fails to serve the people of this state…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dakin-sloss/post_2341_b_935612.html?ir=Politics
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California Assembly Budgets Understate Legislative Spending by at Least $17.1 Million

The sum of all spending in the reported budgets is $16,882,750.96, which breaks down into $10,240,466.25 reported for staff salaries and $6,642,284.71 reported for Member office operating expenses. The sum of all Assembly Member Office staff salaries is $34,038,564. That means there is a $17,155,813.04 difference between all spending reported in the budgets, and actual spending on staff salaries-and a $23,798,097.75 between the reported budgeted spending on staff salaries and actual spending on staff salaries.

http://www.flashreport.org/featured-columns-library0b.php?faID=2011081808111730
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