Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation to spend $1.1 billion in state-wide capital projects for IT upgrades on April 11.
The bill divvies up funding so about $600 million is budgeted for improving IT infrastructure needs throughout Massachusetts, and would also help strengthen cybersecurity and improve how state agencies interact with their constituents. That funding would be broken up across different sectors:
- $195 million for improving constituent services in healthcare, housing, education, employment assistance, public safety, emergency management, transportation, energy, and the environment;
- $165 million for strategic initiatives to improve state IT resource efficiency in new human resource and financial systems, as well as state background-records checking;
- $135 million for state cybersecurity upgrades, including a new Security Operations Center, vulnerability testing of state IT infrastructure and systems, and enhancement of access security for state systems; and
- $105 million for digital and telecommunications infrastructure modernization.
“It is critically important that the Commonwealth make these capital investments to strengthen defenses against cyber threats and continue modernizing and securing our digital assets,” Baker said. “This bill will also help us to partner with local agencies and provide additional capital support to better serve the residents of Massachusetts.”
Baker’s legislation would also support investments in upgrading municipal IT. More specifically, the bill budgets $30 million for a municipal IT grant program, $20 million for fiber-optic installation grants for municipal buildings, and $5 million for WiFi and internet upgrades at schools.
“In addition to important IT projects, this bill will enable our local partners to make investments in their infrastructure, including improving access to municipal buildings for persons with disabilities and providing new training capacity for firefighters,” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said.
The rest of the legislation’s budget would go toward public safety initiatives and other capital investments.