Official State Rock is No Star

At least not as far as our state senator, Gloria Romero, is concerned. She wants to remove a rock called "serpentine," which is basically asbestos in its raw form, from the state's list of official things.

Kind of a waste of time

That's kind of a waste of time. Who cares about the official rock? Besides, once upon a time, asbestos was the miracle mineral. Now it's a harbinger of death, but back in the day...

Because the budget is a mess

Because the budget is a mess and no one thinks they can change the way it's set up, there's a lot of pressure to deal with things that don't cost any money.

I agree--I doubt either Californians or non-Californians spend much time thinking about our official state anything, while there's an historical role that asbestos played in the state's and the nation's industrial development.

Budget Website

There's a website for the budget:

They should mandate a way to publish budgets for state and local government, and also for any companies that want to contract with the government.

These should be published on website, in XML files. XML is just a consistent way to publish complex, hierarchical data in a way that computers can read.

Then, the DOF should manage a large database of all the XML files. A program could gather up all these XML files, and then combine these into a huge website where you could go from the budget to actual expenditures down to the department or contractor level.

This would be awesome. You could analyze the data to see where expenditures don't match budgets. You could see who is getting contracts. And you'd need all the right "keys", so you could jump from a contractor... to a database of contractors.