Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley today joined Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown, to sign a number of pieces of legislation.

Among the bills signed today is HB 0362 -- legislation that creates a new Department of Information Technology, which will have policy responsibility for information technology matters across state agencies. The bill also consolidates state agency information technology functions into one department and elevates the department to a level that reports directly to the governor. The new Department of Information Technology will coordinate, purchase and manage all telecommunications devices and systems utilized by state agencies. The secretary of information technology will lead chief information officers of all agencies to streamline business processes across state government, achieve cost-savings through economies of scale, and coordinate initiatives related to security, disaster recovery and continuity of operations.

Governor O'Malley also signed legislation today that would repeal the $200 million computer services tax to protect family-owned and small businesses -- to help make the state a leader in the global, knowledge-based economy.