LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: House passes Rep. Hackney’s first bill allowing state agencies to upgrade their data infrastructure

OLYMPIA – Last night, the House passed HB 1274 with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 96 to 2. This bill, introduced by Rep. David Hackney (D-Tukwila), gives state agencies the flexibility to choose to store data and make telecommunications investments in the state data center or utilize a third-party commercial cloud provider.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, state agencies have experienced a dramatic increase in demand for services provided remotely. The state’s current IT infrastructure has struggled to meet the increased demand and has caused frustration by users who are unable to complete their transactions because of system crashes and error messages.

Rep. Hackney says that state agencies that shift to commercial cloud services will be able to scale quickly to address unexpected spikes in demand that occur during a public health crisis or natural disaster.

“In light of our recent history, we need to expect the unexpected and make sure state agencies have the tools to meet the demands of Washington residents for essential services like unemployment insurance.”

This legislation gives our state agencies a choice to transition from the state data center to third-party commercial cloud providers. Not only is it expected to provide enhanced security, better performance, and more reliability, but it could also save Washington up to $100 million over the next five years as a result of not having to purchase servers for the State Data Center.

“I am excited about the potential this bill has to dramatically improve the quality of remote services for state agencies that choose the commercial cloud,” Hackney said.

This bill is Rep. Hackney’s first bill passed out of the House. It now goes to the Senate Chamber for further debate and voting.