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State Budget Legislation Highlights Tech Spend

The new bill is one of several that illustrate how the state may spend money on technology and innovation in coming months.

A $100 bill with digital lines superimposed over it to indicate financial software.
Department-level details from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signed 2022-2023 Fiscal Year state budget remain to be released, but a review of budget-related legislation reveals much of interest to the IT community.

As required by state law, Newsom signed the $308 billion budget into law June 30 once it cleared the statehouse, hours before the July 1 start of the current fiscal year. His office issued a press release that day highlighting areas of interest to residents.

(In a Virtual Briefing on the New State Budget last week, Industry Insider — California broke down key elements of the approved budget. The briefing can be seen here and the slides are here.)

A review of Assembly Bill 178 from Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, one of the bills that made up the budget, shows many millions in approved IT spend. Among them:

  • To the California Department of Public Health, there’s nearly $235.2 million, with rounding, to support “maintenance and operation of information technology systems including, but not limited to, systems established during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • To the California State Controller’s Office, the budget provides $83.2 million, with rounding, for the California State Payroll System Project’s “future solution costs,” to be allocated “upon order of the Department of Finance.” Before that happens, per the bill, Stage 4 of its Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL) Process must be approved by the California Department of Technology (CDT), and the California State Payroll System report required by this budget must have gone to the Legislature.
  • To the California Department of Social Services (DSS), there’s $57.6 million to support “activities related to the Child Welfare Services-California Automated Response and Engagement System (CWS-CARES) project.” This amount may be increased by up to $17.4 million “upon approval by the Department of Finance, in consultation with the Department of Technology,” with both entities considering “verified satisfactory progress toward milestones associated with the CWS-CARES Product Roadmap, product adoption, and the road map change management process.” That money must only be used to accelerate “planned project activities and shall not be used to increase total project costs.” The department also will receive $6.2 million for “external consulting and professional services associated with the design, development, and implementation of the Facility Management System project.” That amount will be increased once this project clears Stage 4 of the PAL Process.
  • There’s $25 million for community college districts to implement “local and systemwide technology and data security measures that support improved oversight of fraud mitigation, online learning quality, and cybersecurity efforts.” The districts should use the money to “hire local cybersecurity staff,” and for “systemwide measures, including, but not limited to, security upgrades for CCCApply and education technology platforms and the establishment of systemwide cybersecurity teams.”
  • To the Board of State and Community Corrections, in the area of Corrections Planning and Grant Programs, there’s $20 million to fund a “competitive grant program for county probation departments to establish mobile probation service centers.” The grants are intended for county probation departments to buy “vehicles, equipment, telecommunications, and other technology” to operate those mobile centers and help “probationers,” especially those that are homeless and struggling to meet probation requirements.
  • To the chancellor of the California Community Colleges system, there’s $20 million to “increase the number of courses available through the use of technology, provide alternative methods for students to earn college credit, and support the California Virtual Campus Distance Education Program.” The money may be used to pay for a “consistent learning management system to help implement this program.”
  • To the California State University, there’s $10 million for the California Council on Science and Technology “to sustain the California Science and Technology Policy Fellowships program.” The money may be used as an endowment, per the budget legislation, which indicates the money is “on a one-time basis to support this program in the 2023-24 fiscal year.”
  • To the Discovery Cube Orange County, a science and educational museum, there’s $10 million to pay for the purchase of land near the museum and Santiago Creek nearby, to build an “open-air, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Center.”
  • To the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the budget provides more than $4.6 million for the Enterprise Content Management Information Technology project — to be allocated once CDT approves Stage 4 of the PAL Process. It’s currently at Stage 3. This money would come from the Motor Vehicle Account in the State Transportation Fund.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.