Tech News for February 3

Bill on Jerry Brown’s desk will give cities better shot at regulating medical pot

A bill that would eliminate a controversial deadline in California’s landmark medical marijuana regulation law is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature following a speedy approval by both houses of the Legislature.

The bill, introduced in early January and sent to the governor’s desk Thursday, removes a March 1 deadline for cities and counties to enact medical marijuana cultivation rules and avoid surrendering that authority to the state, a prospect that had disturbed city officials and medical cannabis advocates.

The measure, authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, gives local governments until Jan. 1, 2018, to regulate medical pot cultivation, a shadowy industry valued at $1 billion statewide. On that date, if local governments don’t act, licensing of commercial cannabis production, distribution and sales will fall under the jurisdiction of the state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.*[PressDemocrat] 02/01

Californians let their guards down as El Niño rains drenched state

Whoever thought that, in the middle of California’s historic drought, a little bit of rain could pose a problem?

But that was the message Tuesday from the state water resources control board and some environmentalists.

Yes, Californians continue to shorten their showers and deny their lawns in this, the fifth year of what is being described as the worst drought in modern times. But in December, they let their guard down as El Niño rain fell in parts of the state, snow accumulated in the mountains and huge waves battered the coast.

*[TheGuardian] 02/02

California’s step-by-step solution for its new Child Welfare System

California is dabbling with innovative ways of procuring technology for its new Child Welfare System, transitioning from waterfall procurement to an agile and iterative acquisition that aims to revamp the mammoth system’s services one at a time.

The state boasts the largest child welfare program in the country, with nearly 20,000 end users, social workers and other staff relying on the underlying data, according to Will Lightbourne, director of the California Department of Social Services.

The legacy system was developed in the early 1990s and has remained largely static since. After years of failed attempts with traditional procurements, the Department of Social Services invited Code for America to evaluate its draft request for proposal for a large procurement. In a late-2015 blog post, Code for America staff asserted that the RFP posed risks of failure, lack of functionality, over-budget concerns and the possibility of the project taking longer than expected.

[GCN] 02/02

Will Starting Small Help California Succeed on Agile Development?

California is utilizing agile principles in the development and procurement of a new statewide child welfare system, eschewing the “waterfall”-based design model that has been entrenched in state government for decades.

Over the past few months, TechWire’s editors and writers have spoken to more than a dozen state officials and subject matter experts about California’s plans to switch to agile. If there’s a common theme from those conversations, it’s that the state must “start small” if it hopes to succeed.

Starting small could prove to be a challenging task, given that the Child Welfare Services-New System (CWS-NS) will be, by its very nature, one of the largest mission-critical systems used by the state and its 58 counties.

The state seems to be aware that a smaller, modular approach is important. It has divided the procurement phase of the CWS-NS project into smaller chunks by quickly releasing separate bids for an intake module and Application Program Interface (API). The hope is those modular projects will go live in a matter of months instead of the several years it typically takes a big-bang, waterfall-type project.

[TechWire] 02/03

RFQ: Department of Motor Vehicles AIX Server Relocation

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is seeking the services of an IBM Premier Business Partner to relocate and reassemble IBM servers and equipment from the Office of Technology Services’ Gold Camp data center back to DMV headquarters in Sacramento.

Submission of quotes are due Feb. 12. Key action dates are subject to change.

“The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has in-house equipment at the [Office] of Technology Services and will need to relocate the equipment back to DMV,” the RFQ says. The term of the contract will be for one month.

Search for “DMV RFQ ISD15-0098 AIX Server Relocation” on Cal eProcure, the state’s online procurement portal.

*[TechWire] 02/02

Secretary of State’s Office Recruiting for New CIO

The California Secretary of State isadvertising for its vacant CIO position. The deadline to apply is Feb. 23.

The CIO reports to Secretary of State Alex Padilla and plans and directs automation, data collection and interpretation, and information technology issues.

The Secretary of State’s Office currently is developing and implementing the new VoteCal system — the statewide voter registration database. A total of 46 counties have been deployed on VoteCal to date, as of late last month. The system is expected to be the official system of record for voter registration in California by June 2016.

*[TechWire] 02/02

Bill Would Expand Opportunities for Private Industry at DMV

New legislation recently introduced by Assemblymember Bill Brough, R-Dana Point, would enable the California DMV to partner with third-party providers on more of the department’s core services.

AB 1714 would expand eligible categories to include driver’s license renewals, eyesight and hearing tests, photography services, and fingerprinting services.

The state vehicle code allows DMV to contract with industry partners for electronic and data services related to vehicle registration and titling transactions. According to state code, a $3 charge is attached to each transaction that the vendor may pass along to the consumer.

[TechWire] 02/03

Feb. 10: The Internet Association’s 2016 Legislative Reception in Sacramento

The Internet Association is hosting its 2016 legislative reception on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Empress Tavern at 1013 K Street in Sacramento.

“Mix and mingle and help us celebrate our 2015 Internet Champions and the state’s continued leadership in innovation,” the Internet Association says.

[TechWire] 02/03

City of Stockton Moving Toward a Citywide ERP Modernization Project

The city of Stockton this month approved consulting contracts with Plante Moran to assess and plan for how to modernize or potentially replace the city’s ERP system.

Stockton currently uses a SunGard HTE/NaviLine solution as an integrated ERP for financial, human resources and payroll, land management, and utility billing solutions in a system that’s been in place since the 1980s, according to city documents.

Stockton would like better reporting capabilities and flow of information across the organization. The city has about 1,600 classified city employees.

“An ERP business need has been determined by the City that better financial data and improved capacity to support activity-based cost accounting is needed. The City is also seeking better integration and compatibility with other internal systems,” according to a bid document released by Stockton last summer.

[TechWire] 02/03

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