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Legislative Subcommittee Report Sheds Light on Potential IT Work

The document, which summarizes the Legislature’s version of the new state budget, offers considerable detail on IT and innovation projects that lawmakers approved or denied.

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Full details will remain unclear until an enacted 2021-2022 fiscal year budget document is available, but a recent legislative committee report shows that lawmakers have explored dedicating millions to state IT projects during the next 12 months.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of budget bills late Monday that his office said “reflects the majority” of the $262 billion 2021-22 state budget agreement; talks reportedly continue in areas including transportation and infrastructure. A recent report summarizing the Legislature’s version of the new state budget reveals consideration of a plethora of IT projects and initiatives. Among the takeaways:

  • The June 1 document, the Subcommittee Report 2021-2022 Budget, needed approval of state Senate and Assembly budget committees but provides considerable detail on potential future projects at the California Department of Technology. There, this version of the budget would back initiatives including 17 positions and $11.4 million from the general fund in FY 2021-22 and $9.4 million in FY 2022-23, plus $6.4 million ongoing to invest in measures "to stabilize critical services and enhance performance statewide,” in light of the pandemic’s challenges. It would also allocate nearly $21 million from the general fund to convert 49 Office of Information Security positions now funded via the Technology Services Revolving Fund – ensuring the department’s Security Operations Center and Information Security Program Audit can continue and letting state entities refocus resources. It would also approve 10 positions and nearly $2.3 million from the general fund in FY 2021-22 and FY 2022-23 to “build a dedicated team to focus on the development and continued evolution of the reimagined CA.gov web portal” and grow the CAWeb team. Also approved are $1.1 million and two positions for “digital identification software.” Denied is a proposed $50 million general fund allocation for a new Technological Modernization Fund monetization and department project.
  • At the California Government Operations Agency, the Cradle to Career data system would receive $15 million in ongoing general fund monies and $3.8 million Proposition 98 General Fund. The funding would also support an online tool for students and parents. Placeholder trailer bill language on this would include stronger privacy protections and make the project subject to CDT review.
  • At the California Department of Motor Vehicles, this budget would deliver more funding and resources of $9.6 million, for “one-time IT resources” to develop and implement the new State to State Verification Service system, plus resources to offset a higher workload predicted in FY 2022-23. However, resources for Digital Acceleration and Talent Acceleration would be deferred without prejudice. This budget would also approve “the 6.9 reappropriation” – and defer without prejudice the Digital Experience Platform project.
  • At the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), the report indicates approval of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative with modifications. These include approving “operations” for the Behavioral Health Service Virtual Platform, but rejecting $73 million funding for the platform in FY 2021-22 – likely, first-year funding – until the project meets “appropriate milestones” of CDT’s Project Approval Lifecycle. A CHHS Initiative Timeline that appears to be linked to the May revision of Newsom’s budget offers a five-year timeline for the platform starting with an RFP and vendor identification during the project’s first year. The platform did not appear on a list of PAL IT Project Proposal Tracking during a Techwire review of CHHS projects.
  • In Human Services, the report indicates approval of spending $15 million for “the permanent use of electronic forms for consumers and providers” in In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), plus placeholder trailer bill language to require DSS (the Department of Social Services) to create a plan for developing “the capability for IHSS consumers and providers to electronically sign and submit forms” via the state Electronic Services Portal and Telephone Timesheet Services app. The pending implementation of this plan, developed by DSS, would be $5 million in general fund monies in FY 2021-22, $5 million general fund in FY 2022-23 and $5 million general fund in FY 2023-24.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.