Most governors wouldn’t call re-election by 25,000 votes a rout, but that midterm margin looked pretty good to Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, who first took office in 2010 on a razor-thin 6,400-vote victory.
Malloy joked with reporters about his “landslide” November win in a tightly contested Connecticut governor’s race. But in a midterm election that was tough on Democrats, he was also an anomaly: an unapologetic progressive who ran on his record of raising taxes on the wealthy, implementing new protections for workers, tightening gun control laws and sinking new investment into infrastructure. It’s the latter category — infrastructure investment — that had a dramatic impact on technology.
Connecticut CIO Mark Raymond says Malloy led efforts to modernize state computer systems that were outdated and at risk of failure. “Gov. Malloy came in and said, ‘We want to be able to do more with technology,’” Raymond told Government Technology last year. “He’s focused on technology — not from a personal usage perspective — but as an important lever of change.”
To pay for new systems, Malloy created a $50 million IT capital investment fund governed by a committee of seven agency commissioners. As of late last year, nearly 30 projects were being financed by the fund and more than 20 others were under consideration. Along with new funding came business process changes for state agencies and an enterprise identity and access management platform launched in conjunction with the successful Access Health CT health insurance marketplace.
These efforts cut operating costs by more than $4 billion, the state says, and earned Connecticut an A grade in our 2014 Digital States Survey along with recognition as most improved. They also establish Malloy as one of the nation’s tech-friendliest governors.
Steve Towns is the former editor of Government Technology, and former executive editor for e.Republic Inc., publisher of GOVERNING, Government Technology, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines. He has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at newspapers and magazines, including more than 15 years of covering technology in the state and local government market. Steve now serves as the Deputy Chief Content Officer for e.Republic.