The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

May 23, 2013
Senate subcommittee rejects CalHR request for tech funding

20130311_HA_Loni_Hancock.JPGA California Senate budget subcommittee delivered a setback to a planned upgrade for the state's job website today by rejecting a proposal to fund it.

The California Department of Human Resources figures it will take about $10 million over four years to make the portal more user-friendly. It would absorb a little more than 80 percent of that cost, but Brown's 2013-14 budget proposal includes $821,000 in supplemental funding. (Click here for a recent State Worker column about the project.)

The three-member Budget Subcommittee No. 5 gave the funding a thumbs down this morning. Chairwoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, noted that an earlier estimate of the project figured it would cost half as much and that the state's high-tech history is pockmarked with failure.

Her comments echoed a subcommittee staff report:

However, given the developments in the past 12 months, it appears that the ECOS project is yet another example of a project that was initially under-scoped and under-resourced and now requires a substantial mid-course correction.

"I can't vote for this today," Hancock said, and suggested that CalHR come back with a more detailed plan in January.

Sens. Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, and Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, also voted against the expenditure.

The subcommittee vote doesn't kill the project's funding, but it sends a signal that CalHR faces a significant political obstacle to getting the money.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, during session in the Senate chambers in Sacramento on Monday, March 11, 2013. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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