Arizona Governor Vetoes Cloud-First Bill, Cites 'Extra Layers of Bureaucracy'

The vetoed legislation could have landed non-compliant technology executives in jail.

by / June 8, 2016
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey flickr/Gage Skidmore

Avoid the cloud, go to jail. That was the gist of a piece of Arizona legislation almost passed into law in May. But Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed S.B. 1434 (PDF), which outlined potential jail-time penalties for officials who failed to comply with the cloud-first provisions in the legislation.

“It’s time for state government to enter the 21st century, and major advances in technology are needed to get there,” Ducey wrote in his formal veto letter. “This bill appears to add extra layers of bureaucracy that are unnecessary and will stall needed advancements in technology.”

Doug Robinson, executive director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, estimated that the legislation was too aggressive.

“It’s extremely unusual for a state legislative body to specify an IT architecture direction or computing platform with deadlines and penalties,” Robinson told the Wall Street Journal.

The legislation vetoed by the governor required a laundry list of criteria for IT planning and purchasing of state departments, including that the Arizona Department of Administration had to identify opportunities for IT consolidation and shared services, a two-year technology refresh cycle for each budget unit, a cloud-first approach to each solution, and more than a dozen other stipulations, mostly relating to meeting federal standards and submitting budget approvals to governing agencies.

A PDF fact sheet for the legislation, as vetoed, can be found on Azleg.gov.