Sweeney, Turner Bill to improve online access to government services approved by committee

Sweeney, Turner Bill to improve online access to government services approved by committee

Trenton – The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney and Senator Shirley Turner that would require the Office of Information Technology and agencies in the executive branch of government to the state to update their digital platforms to improve access to services for the public to use.

The bill, S-2723, titled “21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act,” would require each executive branch agency to submit an information technology modernization improvement plan that includes increasing the use of data analytics, improving accessibility for people with disabilities and providing mobile-friendly agency websites.

“Our access to technology is progressing and shifting more and more towards mobile devices. As our technology advances, it’s important to make sure everyone can access the same information,” said Sen. Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Black, brown and low-income communities are more likely to rely on smartphones due to a lack of high-speed internet access, and we need to ensure communities with disabilities also have full access to information. The purpose of this bill is to make government agencies and important information available to all New Jerseyans at the touch of a finger.

“Expanding the accessibility of our state’s digital platforms will better serve the public and ensure they are able to find the resources they need at the push of a button,” said Sen. Turner (D- Mercer/Hunterdon). “We want government agencies, their services and their information to be easily accessible to all residents, whether or not they have a computer.”

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 12-0.

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Ashley C. Reynolds