Arizona Governor Vetoes Statewide Cloud Legislation

In an attempt to mandate a cloud-first approach, the state legislature tried to take a bold step forward for state IT.

In a move that sought to put innovation first, both houses of Arizona’s legislative body passed S.B. 1434, a bill that would mandate that all state agencies adopt a cloud-first approach. Last month, when the bill arrived on Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk for signature, it seemed that Arizona would become the first state to enforce cloud adoption by law.

But the pro-cloud legislation came to the end of the road as Gov. Ducey officially vetoed the bill. His explanation for doing so was short and straight to the point.

“It’s time for state government to enter the 21st century, and major advances in technology are needed to get there. This bill appears to add extra layers of bureaucracy that are unnecessary and will stall needed advancements in technology,” wrote Ducey in his formal veto letter to the state senate on May 18.

In a report by The Wall Street Journal, Doug Robinson, executive director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), hypothesized that the proposed legislation may have been too aggressive, as it included potential jail time for state IT leaders who were noncompliant.

“It’s extremely unusual for a state legislative body to specify an IT architecture direction or computing platform with deadlines and penalties,” Robinson told the WSJ.

While the veto of S.B. 1434 puts what was set to be a sweeping revolution for Arizona IT on hold, it doesn’t mean that the IT department can’t forge ahead with other cloud-first policies or that the bill can’t be reworked in the legislature, passed and sent again to the governor for signature. In the end, this legislation will be notable for being among the first to propose a no-holds-barred approach to taking state IT to the cloud — or else.

Jun 05 2016