State Capitol: Major Changes Ahead for California Tech

California’s future is heavily invested in innovative technology, but numerous legacy IT systems across the state struggle to modernize, exceeding the budget, schedule, or both.  Moreover, the state lacks enterprise collaboration, with countless siloed platforms such as the often-cited example of 79 separate case management systems across 22 departments.

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PG&E Warns of 3rd PSPS Event of the Year for Northern California

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) today issued a press release warning its customers that the third Public Power Safety Shutoff (PSPS) of the year may be called this week, as a result of a forecast of high winds and dry conditions coupled with temperatures reaching the mid 90’s.  PG&E stressed that the most difficult period this week could be Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.  However, PG&E also stated that a second event may materialize on Thursday afternoon and could last through Friday. PSPS events are designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be caused by high winds and [...]

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CAISO, CPUC, CEC Issue Preliminary Report on Blackouts

The Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee will be holding an oversight hearing with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and California Energy Commission (CEC) aimed at reviewing a report on the rolling blackouts triggered in August. The Preliminary Root Cause Analysis 121 page report issued by the three energy agencies today offered the following three key findings.

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An Ambitious Environmental Agenda that Includes Climate Bond and California’s Own Green New Deal

Legislators returned to work this week and wasted little time in promoting a climate bond to deal with the next climate-related catastrophe, as well as California’s own Green New Deal to help with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and homelessness.

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Housing Data Bill Passes Legislature

Legislation requiring local government agencies to post housing-related data online yesterday passed the Senate and is now on its way to the governor's desk. AB 1483 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) bill requires cities and counties to post specified housing-related information on their Web sites and calls for the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to establish a workgroup to develop a strategy for state housing data.

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Legislation to create state AI advisor moving forward

The director of the California Department of Technology will have authority to hire a new advisor on the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in state government if the governor approves a measure that earlier this week passed both houses of the Legislature.   The new position will advise the department on "incorporating artificial intelligence into state information technology strategic plans, policies, standards, and enterprise architecture." 

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Tech Vendors Subject to New Performance Review Under Pending Legislation

Information Technology vendors working for the State of California will undergo new performance evaluations for all contracts of $500,000 or more, under pending legislation by Assembymember Rudy Salas (D- San Francisco). AB 971 requires departments awarding contracts information technology services to complete a thorough post-evaluation of the contractor and for public officials who sign reports to confirm its accuracy.  The reports will not be subject to the California Public Records Act, according to the latest version of the bill which is in the final stages of the legislative process.  As of Monday, the bill has passed both houses and is on its way to the governor's desk.

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California Assembles First Blockchain Working Group

California’s blockchain effort to study the technology's potential in government has a new leader.  Camille Crittenden is the first chair of the blockchain working group, which was formed as a result of Assembly Bill 2658, passed in 2018, according to a state announcement from.   Crittenden will lead a total of 20 members in the working group, which is comprised of a diverse collection of experts in tech, business, law, privacy and consumer organizations including Assembly Ian Calderon (who authored AB 2658), Senator Robert M. Hertzberg, and CDT Director Amy Tong. Blockchain is the technology that records digital transactions and cryptocurrencies [...]

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Wilkening Outlines Vision for Office of Digital Innovation

Those anticipating a new tech-focused direction of Gov. Newsom’s administration have more insight this week after his top digital advisor explained where the new Office of Digital Innovation Senior Advisor Mike Wilkening this week said the new office will be the state’s model for innovation across state agencies, during closing remarks at the Data Expo hosted by the California Health and Human Services Agency.  The 2019 California Health and Human Services Data Expo, held on Aug. 7, finished with a closing keynote from Senior Advisory on Innovation and Digital Services Michael Wilkening, who looked ahead at upcoming plans for the [...]

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