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Budget Act Bill Shows Tech Spend

A budget-implementing bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom affirms many millions in technology and modernization monies for state and local governments.

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This is the time of year when Gov. Gavin Newsom puts pen to paper to sign legislation, and one recent bill in particular should attract considerable interest from the technology community.

In accordance with state law, the Assembly and state Senate had until Aug. 31 to pass bills out of their respective houses. Newsom, meanwhile, has through Sept. 30 to sign or veto the many bills that passed out of the Legislature.

Lawmakers and Newsom approved a working 2022-2023 Fiscal Year state budget in time for the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. You can find examples of Industry Insider — California’s previous such coverage here, here and here. (In a recent Virtual Briefing on the New State Budget, Industry Insider — California broke down key elements of the approved budget. The briefing can be seen here and the slides are here.) On Tuesday, Newsom’s office announced the signing of Assembly Bill 179 from Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, one of the bills that implement the new state budget, and which shows many millions in approved IT spend. Among them, with rounding:

  • Expanding the reach of high-speed Internet continues to be a high priority. There’s up to $1 billion for the California Department of Technology (CDT) to expand broadband infrastructure.
  • $235.1 million to bolster the ongoing use of technology to combat COVID-19. The funding “shall be available to support the maintenance and operation of information technology systems including, but not limited to, systems established during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • $70 million for the Judicial Council to fund “local assistance to each superior court” based on its county’s proportion of residents ages 18-25. The money can be used for “costs for technology to facilitate information exchange and process automation between courts and county departments.”
  • $57.6 million to support the Child Welfare Services-California Automated Response and Engagement System (CWS-CARES) project, contingent on approval of project documents by the California Department of Finance (DOF) and CDT. This money can be augmented by up to $17.4 million for “project activities” with DOF and CDT approval – but that additional funding can only support the acceleration of “planned project activities” – not project costs.
  • $31 million for planning and prep, including hiring, training and policy development, and to support IT infrastructure costs around “changes needed to electronic medical record systems, changes to collect needed reporting data, and case tracking and new billing processes to bill commercial plans, and excluding capital expenses.”
  • $20.1 million to be encumbered or spent until June 30, 2024, for the Information Technology, Data Science and Informatics Framework for a 21st Century Public Health System. That money can be augmented by as much as $15.9 million for associated “planning activities.” Expenditure of the funds, the act notes, is “contingent upon approval of enterprise planning and strategy documents” by the California Health and Human Services Agency and CDT – and in its approval, the California Department of Finance approval “shall consider verified satisfactory progress associated with initiative planning.”
  • $15 million to support programs targeted to partnerships between community health clinics and local public health agencies, and health “IT training programs offered by health IT organizations that deliver health IT operational and support staff workforce recruitment” in underserved areas.
  • Up to $3.2 million for activities related to the California Automated Lobbyist and Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Search System Replacement System project, following approval by the state director of finance on consulting with CDT. That approval is also contingent on CDT approval of Project Approval Lifecycle documents.
Locals are accounted for as well. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development will allocate:

  • $17 million to Culver City for “smart city technology to purchase and to install smart nodes on city streetlight arms.”
  • $3 million to Elk Grove for “enhanced technology, community meeting space and needed tenant improvements” at the Elk Grove Library.
  • $2 million to Los Angeles County for the “Florence-Firestone Technology Career Incubator site acquisition and capital improvements.”
  • CDT will allocate $4 million to Gardena to close the digital divide and “design and deploy a fiber corridor to connect residents, small businesses, schools, community facilities and other broadband capabilities in all of the city’s six parks.”
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.