Auditor of Public Accounts; duties, standard vendor accounting information to include certain info. (SB936)

Introduced By

Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) with support from 6 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst), Del. Jeff Frederick (R-Woodbridge), Del. John O'Bannon (R-Richmond), Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), Sen. Ralph Smith (R-Roanoke), Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Secretary of Technology; Virginia Enterprise Applications Program; searchable database website of state budget expenditures and revenues. Provides for the Virginia Enterprise Applications Program (VEAP) within the Office of the Secretary of Technology to create and maintain a searchable database website containing information on state revenues, appropriations, and expenditures. Under the bill, the Director of VEAP shall develop a pilot searchable database website available for public use no later than July 1, 2010. Beginning in July 2011, the searchable database website shall be updated for (i) fiscal years that ended prior to July 1, 2009, and (ii) for future fiscal years not later than 60 days following the close of the fiscal year. The Director of VEAP, the Auditor of Public Accounts and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall work together to coordinate efforts in obtaining, summarizing, and compiling information in order to avoid duplication of efforts. The website shall be made available in a format designed to encourage the greatest amount of use by the general public. The website shall provide access to all levels of budget spending in state government. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/06/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 092360216
01/06/2009Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/21/2009Impact statement from DPB (SB936)
02/04/2009Reported from General Laws and Technology with substitute (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2009Committee substitute printed 092411332-S1
02/04/2009Rereferred to Finance
02/05/2009Reported from Finance (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2009Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2009Read second time
02/10/2009Reading of substitute waived
02/10/2009Committee substitute agreed to 092411332-S1
02/10/2009Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB936S1
02/10/2009Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2009Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2009Placed on Calendar
02/13/2009Read first time
02/13/2009Referred to Committee on Science and Technology
02/17/2009Impact statement from DPB (SB936S1)
02/18/2009Committee substitute printed 092435216-H1
02/18/2009Reported from Science and Technology with substitute (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2009Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/19/2009Assigned App. sub: Technology Oversight & Government Activities (Landes)
02/19/2009Impact statement from DPB (SB936S1)
02/19/2009Subcommittee recommends reporting
02/23/2009Reported from Appropriations (24-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2009Read second time
02/25/2009Read third time
02/25/2009Committee substitute agreed to 092435216-H1
02/25/2009Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB936H1
02/25/2009Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (100-Y 0-N)
02/25/2009VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (100-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2009Impact statement from DPB (SB936H1)
02/26/2009House substitute agreed to by Senate (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2009Title replaced 092435216-H1
03/09/2009Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB936ER)
03/09/2009Signed by President
03/10/2009Impact statement from DPB (SB936ER)
03/11/2009Signed by Speaker
03/30/2009G Approved by Governor-Chapter 758 (effective 7/1/09)
03/30/2009G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0758)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 1 minute.


Marsha Maines writes:

Now -let's get to a zero-balance budget..each and every state agency must start at zero and account for each dollar they are requesting BEFORE obtaining any funding....anybody find that $28 million moved out of DCSE's accounts to another agency (unknown)???

Norm Leahy writes:

This bill is essential for opening up the budget and removing the mystery surrounding the budget process.

We have a right to know where and why our tax money is being spent...and the state has an obligation to give us that information in the most effective (and searchable!) format possible.

Steve R writes:

If we now have recorded House sub-committee votes, why not go all the way and put the budget online? Transparency now!

"Information is the currency of democracy."
- Thomas Jefferson

Waldo J., tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

My only concern about this bill is that it doesn't go far enough. It's nice to store data on a website, but that doesn't necessarily make it useful. Witness the General Assembly's website. All of the data is there...but it's organized in such a fashion as to make it enormously difficult for citizens to use. Luckily, the technical staff at the legislature understands the limitations of their site, and provides to third parties the raw, unfiltered data that powers the site. That's how Richmond Sunlight exists, and where the data comes from.

Those of us who believe that a) competition is healthy and b) the private sector is often capable of doing better work than the public sector would likely agree that it's important that budget data not just exist on a website, but that the raw data be available in its entirety for anybody to download and utilize. That might be in XML, CSV, YAML, or any other standardized, open source markup language.

Norm Leahy writes:

Commonwealth Data Point puts lots of budget information online, but the state actively blocks it from outside search engines and it places none of the information there in context (X vendor was paid Y amount on January 1...but what was purchased, by whom, for what purpose isn't there).

This would allow folks to see all of that and be searchable at the same time. Some states have used private vendors to crunch the data, saving on costs, and even the federal government makes some software available for free that does the same thing.

If this activity can be outsourced, great, let's do it and do it now. The first hurdle to clear is gaining access to the data, which right now resides in the hands of a very small group of people (who prefer to keep it that way).

Norm Leahy writes:

It's not on the docket yet...curious, indeed.