New IT modernization law in Maryland gives CIO new powers

Maryland's Modernization of Information Technology Projects gives the state chief information officer new authority to modernize outdated IT systems.
Wes Moore
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Getty Images)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed two technology bills into law Thursday, including a piece of legislation that centralizes the power of the state chief information officer so she can carry out IT modernization projects.

The new law, called the Modernization of Information Technology Projects, establishes an IT investment fund and requires that “a certain amount “ of the money be set aside for projects related to public health, education and safety each year. The law, which seeks to accelerate the replacement of outdated technology systems in the state government, orders development of a statewide modernization plan that inventories old systems and prioritizes systems and applications for upgrade.

The law also centralizes IT management of executive agencies under the state’s Department of Information Technology, which is currently led by Chief Information Officer Katie Savage.

The Alliance for Digital Innovation, a nonprofit advocating the public sector’s use of innovative technologies, applauded the legislation.


“The creation of the Maryland’s Information Technology Investment Fund provides an important opportunity to modernize the state’s legacy IT systems and networks while strengthening the state’s cybersecurity posture,” Dan Wolf, the alliance’s director of state programs, said in a press release.

Also on Thursday, Moore signed the Critical Infrastructure Streamlining Act, which seeks to remove barriers to the state’s technology infrastructure growth by simplifying the regulatory processes for industries that rely on backup power generators during power outages.

That legislation was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly on Moore’s behalf just after a data center said it would abandon a project after its request to install 168 backup generators was denied by the state, the Frederick News-Post reported.

“We are data-driven and heart-led in everything we do,” Moore said in a press release. “Today, Marylanders are moving in partnership to build a more competitive state through historic legislation designed to lift everyone up and leave no one behind.”

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