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Prop. 1 Sets Stage for IT Opportunities; Many Questions Remain

Voters approved Gov. Gavin Newsom's Proposition 1 by a very narrow margin, leaving state and county agencies to sort through its impacts. Vendors would be wise to watch the horizon for opportunities.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Proposition 1 seems to have narrowly scraped by in last month’s election, potentially creating the opportunity for new IT deployments as the state and counties work toward implementation.

The proposition — the one and only on the ballot and a pet project of Gov. Gavin Newsom — puts new requirements and resources toward homelessness reduction and the treatment of addiction and mental health issues.

The controversial proposal faced an extremely tight race, with the New York Times reporting just under a 30,000-vote lead as of March 25. The final certification of the election results will happen April 12.

Exactly what form these IT deployments will take is unclear at this point, with key state agencies still working to sift through the details. “[The Department of Health Care Services] is currently analyzing how Proposition 1 implementation will affect technology for DHCS, state partners, local agencies, and other partners,” a department spokesperson recently told Industry Insider California via email.

If the lengthy text of the legislation is any indication, secure data collection, management and sharing systems will be an integral part of its success at all levels. The sensitive nature of the data — especially related to addiction treatment and mental health — will make security and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) paramount.

Proposition 1 outlines requirements for data sharing and reporting between counties and the state, calls on counties to “leverage innovative technology platforms,” and identifies the funding mechanisms for “capital facilities and technology needs.” In addition to the likely operational technology needs, there will also likely be tools needed to ensure state and county oversight and accountability.

Industry Insider — California will continue to track Prop. 1 developments and report on the developing opportunities.
Eyragon is the Managing Editor for Industry Insider — California. He previously served as the Daily News Editor for Government Technology. He lives in Sacramento, Calif.