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Cybersecurity, Health, Payroll IT Work in New State Budget

Gov. Gavin Newsom hasn’t signed the new state budget yet, but as approved by lawmakers, it contains considerable funding for departmental IT projects.

The California Capitol building.
David Kidd/Governing
The extent of the state’s planned IT spend for the next 12 months isn’t entirely certain, but it seems clear major technology work will go forward despite the effects of an estimated $32 billion shortfall.

Lawmakers met their June 15 constitutional deadline to pass a state budget for the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year starting July 1, but as of Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom had still not signed the budget; and the state’s official budget website shows his May Revision of his January proposed FY 2023-24 budget as the latest official document. By law, Newsom must sign the budget before the start of the new fiscal year. But the 2023-2024 Budget Act, which went into print June 11, offers considerable detail on likely tech projects. Initiatives funded in the Budget Act once it’s signed include:

  • Cybersecurity work at community college districts. There’s $25 million for community college districts to “implement local and systemwide technology and data security measures” in support of “improved oversight of fraud mitigation, online learning quality and cybersecurity efforts.” Funds shall be used to hire local cybersecurity staff as well as for systemwide measures including security upgrades for CCCApply, educational tech platforms, and establishing systemwide cybersecurity teams. To receive funding, a community college district must do an “annual cybersecurity self-assessment of its IT infrastructure” to “determine its National Institute of Standards and Technology Computer Systems Laboratory score and report their current phase in Cal-Secure standards.” The district must also do regularly scheduled cybersecurity reporting.
  • The Information Technology, Data Science, and Informatics Framework for a 21st Century Public Health System. The project is slated to receive about $18.1 million, with rounding, “for encumbrance or expenditure until June 30, 2025.” The money may be increased by up to $15.8 million for planning activities in areas including enterprise planning and strategy and public health data integration, but their expenditure is contingent on approval of enterprise planning and strategy documents by the California Health and Human Services Agency and the Department of Technology (CDT). CDT must also approve Project Approval Lifecycle documents. The Framework is aimed at modernizing public health IT infrastructure and systems and stimulating data sharing. The 2022-23 FY budget provided it $20.1 million from the General Fund and 33 positions. In a budget change proposal this year, the California Department of Public Health had sought nearly $15.9 million in one-time funding.
  • Unspecified IT work at the California State Library and the California Library Services Board. The budget bill includes $3.3 million for IT services.
  • Unspecified IT and information security work at the California Department of Education. There’s $1.2 million with rounding and two positions available in FY 2022-23 — which ends Friday — and $266,000 and two positions available thereafter for increased departmental IT needs and workload. There’s also $4.3 million with rounding and six positions in FY 2022-23 and $1 million and six positions thereafter for departmental information security infrastructure.
  • The California State Payroll System Project. The project is slated to receive $372,000 in FY 2023-24 for “legal and budgetary resources for administrative functions” according to the budget bill. The Department of Finance (DOF) and the State Controller’s Office must re-evaluate these resources after FY 2025-26; and the Controller with DOF, CDT and others must brief the Legislature and the Legislative Analyst’s Office quarterly on the project’s progress including on new executed contracts. The Controller and the Department of Human Resources must also work with “payroll processing departments through its Department/Agency Readiness Team program” to identify more departmental resources or staff needed to finish organizational change management activities on the project, and work with departments on requesting those resources through the 2024–25 budget process.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.