Cleared unanimously by the Senate Government and Finance Committee, Senator Henry Stern’s Senate Bill 683 regarding the state’s annual budget will be moving forward to another committee.
Under the bill, the governor’s fiscal budget would be required to be “machine readable” in order for users to be able to process, examine, analyze and interact with the budget.
“These are taxpayers’ dollars,” Stern said while presenting his bill during the hearing. “They are spent on incredibly important programs, but too often there is not enough access to this information in a format that not just government officials and state agencies can read but that third parties can access also.”
Currently, the budget can be viewed in hard copy or a PDF format, which does not allow for readers to interact with the data. The bill suggests using CSV, JSON, RDF and XML formats that make it easy for people and machines to examine.
Executive Director of TechNet Andrea Deveau, a web service and portal for IT professionals, also testified at the hearing.
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