Harris Wants to Give States Millions to Overhaul Technology
Her bill would give governments access to a pool of $15 million a year in grant funding
Democratic presidential candidate and California senator Kamala Harris is introducing a bill on Thursday that would give state and local governments access to a pool of $15 million a year in grant funding, which they could use to set up tech teams and overhaul the often outdated tools and websites their constituents use every day.
The bill, called the Digital Service Act of 2019, is modeled after the United States Digital Service, an elite team of geeks inside the White House working on ways to make federal government technology less clunky and confusing—and maybe even good. Launched in 2014, USDS is one of the few Obama-era passion projects to survive the Trump administration. Now Harris wants to build on its success by giving state and local governments the resources they need to set up similar teams.
“We must do more to empower our state and local governments to tap into the power of technology to provide seamless, cost-effective services for the 21st century,” Harris told WIRED in a statement. “The Digital Service Act will help harness top talent for the government, save taxpayer dollars, and put the power of technology to work on behalf of the American people.”
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