Yes, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has passed a budget plan which proposes inclusion of Open Source software in areas like health care, prison and many other to bring down costs by considerable amounts. A policy letter issued last week by CIO Teri Takai says ,
the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in California state government [has now been formally established] as an acceptable practice.
California reportedly faces a budget deficit of $20 billion, which Open Source software can hardly address but we can hope for something good to come out of this.
The human mind is resistant to change. This is what we have to change. Otherwise we will never move with technology. This attempt not only creates a place for Open Source in the government, it also encourages the public to use Linux and other Open Source software. This will do away with common myths about Open Source like lack of support, lack of features etc.
One thing that the governor has seen here is that a bigger part of California already uses Open Source software and this is more of a formal declaration. It has happened at Hungary, the state of Kerela in India has offered Linux loaded laptops to its MLAs and now California. The Open Source penetration into the governments simply keeps getting better.