On Jan. 9, the Healey-Driscoll administration filed a $1.23 billion, five-year bond bill intended to modernize IT systems across state agencies.

The administration said the FutureTech Act, covering fiscal 2025 through 2029, represents significant capital investments to integrate the constituent experience across agencies, improve cybersecurity, and fund investments in Artificial Intelligence technology, while also providing funding and technical support to secretariats, state agencies, public higher education institutions, and municipalities.

The bill would establish a Digital Accessibility and Equity Governance Board, create the position of chief information technology accessibility officer, and establish the Commonwealth Digital Roadmap, which would seek to standardize the user experience across state agencies.

The bill would provide $30 million for the competitive Municipal Fiber Grant Program, which supports the closing of gaps in municipal networks, focused on connecting municipal facilities.

It also includes $25 million for the competitive Community Compact IT Grant Program, which seeks to drive innovation at the local level and is available to any municipality that is part of Community Compact Cabinet Initiative. The program supports the implementation of technology projects that harness the power of IT to drive innovation, make government more efficient, save taxpayer dollars, and make it easier for residents to interact and transact with their local government.

Danvers Town Manager Steve Bartha, whose town hosts the North Shore IT Collaborative, said he’s “confident that the FutureTech Act will lay the groundwork for similar collaboratives elsewhere in the Commonwealth.”

The administration said the current Executive Office of Technology Services and Security bond authorization will be exhausted in fiscal 2025. The secretariat’s Office of Capital Planning, in coordination with the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, assessed executive branch IT capital project needs for the next five years.

The administration said its bill would provide up to $350 million to fund the continuation of key business applications, $150 million for enterprise cybersecurity investments, and $275 million for new capital investments.

Among its investments, the bill includes $52 million to support the continued rollout of the Employment Modernization Transformation, a project which, when complete, will provide both employers and those seeking unemployment assistance with a new portal designed to be mobile-friendly and accessible, making it easier to apply for unemployment assistance and streamline the claims process.

The bill also has $25 million to support AI projects that align with the administration’s priorities and that harness the knowledge and skills of the state’s higher education and innovation-driven economy to boost its leadership “in the responsible development and use of AI technology in government.”

EOTSS Secretary and Commonwealth Chief Information Officer Jason Snyder said the bill would “simultaneously keep our IT assets current and allow us to plan for our long-term cyber resilience strategy, while continuing to innovate in our business and constituent-facing applications.”