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Cuts for State Technology Department in Governor’s Proposed Budget

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2023-2024 Fiscal Year state budget would, however, fund two significant ongoing IT projects.

The top of the California Capitol building at dusk.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2023-2024 Fiscal Year budget has some good news for tech — but it puts less money than last year toward the state technology department.

The California Department of Technology’s portion of the proposed $297 billion FY 2023-2024 state budget would be reduced from FY 2022-2023. In his new proposed budget, which he unveiled Tuesday, Newsom suggests giving CDT a little more than $831.2 million. That’s quite a bit more than the $572.1 million CDT received in the approved FY 2022-2023 budget. But according to CDT’s proposed FY 2023-2024 budget, it’s nearly 43 percent less than CDT ultimately received in FY 2022-2023. According to these figures, which are more recent than the earlier approved FY 2022-2023 budget from June, CDT actually received nearly $1.5 billion in FY 2022-2023 — not including about $2.3 billion in COVID-19 monies from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund of 2021. With that money included, CDT actually received nearly $3.8 billion in FY 2022-2023, according to Newsom’s new proposed budget.

CDT’s policy is that it does not comment on proposed or pending state budgets.

As reported Tuesday by Industry Insider — California (IICA), Newsom’s proposed FY 2023-2024 budget would trim multiyear modernization funding for CDT (see below for details). Those cuts are part of the governor’s strategy to resolve an expected $22.5 billion shortfall. Among the takeaways:

  • CDT’s monies from the General Fund would be reduced under the governor’s proposed budget, from a little more than $1 billion in FY 2022-2023 to nearly $409 million in FY 2023-2024. It would also not receive any monies from the Federal Trust Fund funding category, compared to about $4 million in FY 2022-2023. The governor’s proposed budget would cut the $50 million in General Fund multiyear monies provided to CDT for modernization in the 2021 and 2022 state budgets to $29 million. On top of that, while the FY 2022-2023 budget provided CDT $30 million over multiple years “to stabilize critical digital services,” the proposed FY 2023-2024 budget cuts that to $12.5 million. CDT’s total number of authorized positions would grow from 1,050 in FY 2022-2023 to 1,069 in FY 2023-2024, both with rounding.
  • CDT’s new proposed budget lists 11 budget change proposals (BCPs) which, according to the California Department of General Services, are required when a state entity needs “additional resources or a reduction in resources to change the level of service or funding for activities authorized by the Legislature, or to propose new program activities not currently authorized.” IICA will have further coverage on these in coming days. The largest BCP seeks about $45.3 million for “Centralized Services Renewal.” That refers, generally, to CDT’s ability to “support critical statewide services, mandatory/oversight services, and internal indirect and administrative costs,” according to the BCP. If approved, the BCP would let CDT “significantly reduce its rates to reflect only expenses required for the delivery of the service,” making it more competitive and reducing the number of “customers migrating off the state’s IT infrastructure to cut costs.” The statewide strategic initiative, however, would need only $3 million from the General Fund; the BCP proposes to move the remaining $42.3 million from the Technology Services Revolving Fund to the General Fund.
  • There’s nearly $1.2 million from the General Fund and two positions proposed in the FY 2023-2024 budget for “Digital Identification Continuation.” Per the budget summary, CDT is making progress on digital identification, “creating a single digital identifier aimed at eliminating the need for California residents to provide their identity and manage multiple user IDs” to obtain services across state websites. The department recently launched a pilot with the California Department of Transportation, the California Integrated Travel Project, Monterey-Salinas Transit and the U.S. General Services Administration’s, to “provide an online tool for transit riders to verify their identity and eligibility to receive discounted fares using their bank card.”
  • Across various departments, the budget would allocate $28.7 million and 40 positions to “maintain and enhance the capabilities of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center” (Cal-CSIC). Cal-CSIC was created in partnership between CDT, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Military Department and the California Highway Patrol and is “the central organizing hub of state government’s cybersecurity preparedness and response activities and coordinates cyber intelligence and information sharing with local, state and federal agencies.” Per the summary, the additional resources will let Cal-CSIC take the lead on using threat detection, gap testing, incident analysis and other methods to deal with cyber threats.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.