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State Panels OK Bills with New IT Requirements

Here are some of the technology bills that passed legislative appropriations committees.

Lawmakers are eyeing a bigger workload for state agencies to modernize technology and provide Californians with user-friendly websites and key information. 
Such mandates are included in bills that last week won the approval of Assembly and Senate appropriations committees, which had until May 25 to send bills to the floor.
Frustrated with government’s often slow embrace of technology, lawmakers are asking state agencies to set technology modernization goals. AB 2087 by Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, would require agencies set those goals by Jan. 1, 2020.
Specifically, agencies would have to identify how technology might be used, how it would improve their efficiency and create implementation and cost plans. The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the bill by a 16-0 vote. 
In another bill, state entities are being asked to make their websites mobile-friendly, a recognition that Americans are increasingly using their phones to search for information rather than a desktop computer. 
AB 2749 would require the chief information officer of each state entity to certify its website is mobile friendly by July 1, 2019. If it’s not, the website must be shut down until it complies. The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the bill by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, by a 16-0 vote. 
For voters who have trouble finding contact information for their elected officials, AB 2707 would require the governor to create a single voter information website that contains information about local, state and federal elected officials. Californians could simply plug in their address to find the information. The bill by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, would require the website be available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Japanese. Lawmakers on the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the bill by a 16-0 vote. Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed similar legislation in the past, which required the secretary of state to create the system. 
Here are other IT-related bills appropriators approved last week:
AB 3193 would require all state agencies to comply with the policies and procedures issued by the Office of Information Security. While existing law requires the OIS to establish an information security program, only agencies under the direct authority of the governor must follow it. The bill by Assemblymembers Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park; Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks; and Jay Obernolte, R-Big Bear Lake, would expand the directive to all state agencies. The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the bill by 16-0 vote.
SB 1396 would create a new office at the Department of Technology to ensure state agencies comply with state and federal electronic IT accessibility requirements. The Office of Accessible Technology would also set up a way for the public to register any complaints about website accessibility problems. And every year, a report must be posted on the website that provides a summary of statewide policies and standards, as well as lists state agencies that do not comply. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, on a 7-0 vote.
Hoping to learn more about blockchain technology and its potential uses and risks, lawmakers want a state working group on the issue. AB 2658 would require the secretary of the Government Operations Agency to appoint a blockchain working group on or before July 1, 2019. The working group would have a year to report to the Legislature. The bill by Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-City of Industry, would also define blockchain as an electronic record when data is uniformly ordered, redundantly maintained or processed by one or more computers, and is validated by the use of cryptography. The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed the bill on a 16-0 vote.
Lawmakers are again moving legislation that would put into statute the California Cybersecurity Integration Center. AB 2813 by Irwin would also require Cal-CSIC to coordinate with the California State Threat Assessment System and the United States Department of Homeland Security, establish a cyber-incident response team, and safeguard the privacy of individuals’ sensitive information. Brown, who created the center with an executive order, has vetoed similar legislation in the past, but this is his last year in office. The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed the measure by a 16-0 vote. 
AB 2748 would create a voluntary pilot program for election officials in up to five counties to get an independent cybersecurity assessment of their election infrastructure if its accessible through an Internet connection. Such a program, bill author Assemblyman Chau says, would allow counties to tap into the state’s expertise about cybersecurity and all assessments would be confidential.
If approved, the bill would require the Office of Information Security, the Office of Emergency Services, and the California Military Department to transmit the results of each independent security assessment and give recommendations to mitigate system vulnerabilities. The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the bill by a 16-0 vote.
Californians whose personal information has been breached could file a civil action under a new state law if SB 1121 continues to move through the Legislature. The bill by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, would allow lawsuits if a person’s non-encrypted or non-redacted personal information has been breached because reasonable security practices were not followed or if a consumer had not been properly notified about the breach. The Senate Appropriations Committee sent the bill to the Senate floor on a 5-2 vote.
California could be a step closer to linking up with other state prescription drug monitoring programs. AB 1751 by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, would create a framework so that California’s CURES database can connect with other states and share data. The Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System contains prescription records for all schedule II, III and IV drugs dispensed in California. The bill would require the Department of Justice to ensure that all access to the data meets patient privacy and data security standards. The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the measure by a 16-0 vote.
The University of California would be tasked with conducting a study on the racial and ethnic diversity of the board of directors and employees of California’s high-tech companies. AB 2819 would require a study every other year beginning in 2020 until 2030. Bill author Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, says the bill would help address ethnic pay gaps, employment and outreach opportunities, board diversification, pipeline creation, upward mobility of diverse technical talent, and retention of that talent through company culture and development.