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Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
 
Senator Jane Nelson: District 12
Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
February 6, 2017
Contact: Melissa Duncan
512-463-0112
TODAY IN FINANCE

On the agenda: Article I - General Government

Department of Information Resources
Texas Ethics Commission
Historical Commission
Commission on the Arts
Library & Archives Commission

View the posting at: http://www.legis.texas.gov/tlodocs/85R/schedules/html/C5402017020610001.HTM

Key Points for Today's Hearing

  • The state’s costs relating to information technology (IT) continue to rise, and increasingly the delivery of state services is reliant on IT. SB 1 includes nearly $1 billion to address IT needs, including: $753.3 million at the Department of Information Resources (DIR), $95.9 at the Comptroller of Public Accounts, and various other projects across all agencies.
  • SB 1 contains a rider that, in conjunction with SB 532 by Senator Nelson, directs DIR to assess each agency’s IT security and operational risk, with the goal of enhancing cybersecurity efforts to protect data housed at our state agencies. It also strengthens oversight of high-dollar IT contracts to ensure we are negotiating the best deal for taxpayers.
  • SB 1 provides $5.9 million All Funds for the Texas Ethics Commission, including $300,000 to cover the cost of outside counsel.
  • Last session, the state’s thriving economy allowed major increases to grant programs supporting the arts, historical preservation and libraries. With a much different revenue situation this session, SB 1 more closely aligns funding with FY 14-15 levels.
  • As a starting point, SB 1:
    • Funds the Historical Commission at $44.2 million All Funds, including $5 million for Courthouse Preservation and $19.8 million for Historic Sites;
    • Provides $12.8 million All Funds for the Commission on the Arts, including $1.5 million for Arts Education Grants, $1.3 million for Cultural Tourism Grants, and $7.9 million for Arts Organization Grants; and
    • Allocates $64.9 million for the Library & Archives Commission, including continuing the Talking Book Program, and provide TexShare and TexQuest to libraries and public schools across the state.

Statement from Senator Nelson: “We must properly secure data and protect the privacy of our citizens. Given the size and sophistication of IT contracts, we need to make sure taxpayers are getting the best bang for our buck,” she said. “As a former teacher, I treasure the arts, our libraries and the rich history of the state. These programs received a major boost last session. SB 1 is a starting point, and we are scouring the budget for savings so that we can address priorities like these.”

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