Escondido, CA

Modernize California

California is the world’s tech capitol. Some of the most technologically advanced companies like Uber, Facebook, and Apple were born in Silicon Valley. While our private sector can master startups and see them flourish, almost every IT project the state tries to implement  is over budget, past due and outdated.  We should be able to access our government, increase public transparency for legislation and government documents, create efficiencies and save taxpayer dollars.  Even doing more online transactions for DMV would be a big start.

Last summer the state unveiled its $290 million tax software upgrade that actually ended up making it more difficult to file taxes online. A $900 million accounting system took 14 years to build, is now causing delays and threatening to lower the state’s credit rating. Another $44 million was spent on a failed IT modernization program for the DMV.

The task force that tracks California’s IT projects found that eight of 26 major projects were failing or needed corrective action. I have presented several pieces of legislation to address these issues through the years, yet the majority in Sacramento fail to act. It has gotten so bad that 43 of 64 state entities using new technology programs also had to use their old IT systems to get the job done, causing duplication and delays.

Using outdated and inefficient computer systems wastes tax dollars, creates inefficient workflows and erodes trust in our government’s ability to get things done. Consistently going over budget and extending deadlines for IT projects is unacceptable.

We must embrace the digital age. I introduced the Government Modernization Act of 2019 to do just that. We will harness the power of California’s tech industry and bring in private sector experts for a fresh perspective to make recommendations on IT problems our state has struggled with for years. Technology is constantly changing and California needs to keep up. We should have a state government that is productive, fast-paced and innovative. 

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Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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