Connecticut Governor Wants Big Investment in Technology

Ned Lamont has put forward several initiatives that would make the state more digital, smarter and more responsive to residents. The effort could also reduce state costs by 75 percent in certain areas.

by / March 5, 2019
Government Technology/David Kidd

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has made a number of proposals that he says would “modernize” state government, streamlining services for residents and making them more accessible, responsive and digital.

In February, Lamont laid out priorities that he said would make state government smarter, including digitizing services like voter registration and driver’s license renewal. At the same time, Lamont has asked for an increased investment in technology funding. The governor’s recent budget proposal, filed last month, asks for cuts to other areas of investment, but emphasizes information technology as a place for increased commitment.   

"I have proposed a significant investment in technology and IT personnel to modernize and digitize state government," Lamont said during his budget address. 

That’s partially because Lamont has championed technology as a way to drive down overall costs for the state. In certain areas, he said, costs could be reduced by as much as 75 percent through a transfer of transactions from manual to online. It also improves accessibility for users, the governor has reasoned. 

“Today, we have over 2,000 different forms and less than 5 percent of them can be completed online,” he said, during his budget address. "As we digitize these interactions, we will achieve cost savings and a better customer experience."  

The state’s CIO, Mark Raymond, concurred that investing in technology would make investment in other areas less necessary over time.

“If we think about this holistically, technology helps drive down the overall cost of providing citizen services,” said Raymond.

Budget documents also state Lamont has prioritized the creation of what he calls the "first all-digital government," a way of doing business in which residents can access services online instead of going through the cumbersome process of visiting a government office.  

The governor's intention is that eventually “every interaction you would have with government would be available online,” Raymond said.

In this sense, the end goal for the state is to streamline services and user experience digitally to the point where citizens don't even have to think about which government departments they're actually working with, according to Raymond. "That's how we're really going to move the needle," he said. 

Lucas Ropek Staff Writer

Lucas Ropek is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and writer in Massachusetts and New York. He received his Bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College in Ohio. He lives in Northern California.

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