SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California could be the next state to have a chief data officer.

AB 1215, the California Open Data Act, enables Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint a chief data officer and charge that person with establishing a publicly accessible and centralized portal of state agency data sets. Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, unveiled his plans for the bill on Wednesday, March 18, at Data Summit 2015, hosted by California Forward, a government reform nonprofit organization.

In his remarks, Ting noted that while many state agencies have data sets, most people don't know where that data is or how to find it, so it isn't really “open.” He hopes AB 1215 will change the game and modernize data accessibility in California.

“I think this is a very exciting time for the state … and I think it's really time California comes out of the dark ages and starts to use that information and technology,” Ting said.

If Ting's bill becomes law, California would become one of just a handful of states to have a chief data officer. Colorado was the first in 2010, when it appointed Micheline Casey to the position.