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Why the Legislature Emptied the IT Modernization Fund

The 88th Legislature redistributed the funding, originally earmarked for agency cybersecurity modernization.

The state Legislature has opted to take back the $200 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that it allocated to the Department of Information Resources (DIR) for cybersecurity and IT modernization projects.

SB 30, which supplements or reduces appropriations made in the 2022-23 budget, lists the reduction under Section 2.07.

The money was listed in the last DIR budget and was originally placed with the Investment in Information Technology Improvement and Modernization Projects joint committee for distribution and held in the Technology Improvement and Modernization Fund, created through the 87th Legislature’s House Bill 4018.

Now the fund sits at zero dollars, and the money will be used elsewhere, state CIO Amanda Crawford said at the August State of Technology Industry Forum.

“That was appropriated [during] the third special session of the previous [legislative] session for cybersecurity modernization projects,” she said. “What the legislature did this session was they swept that money and then reallocated it individually to different agencies within their budgets. If you dive in deep enough, you can figure out where the money went, but it did get spent.”

The fund itself still exists, however, the committee’s website now shows a 404 error with a message that reads the “committee is not active in this session.”
Rae D. DeShong is a Dallas-based staff writer and has written for The Dallas Morning News and worked as a community college administrator.