William Welsh authored this article today in Washington Technology.
Contractors doing business with state and local governments should expect to see $4.5 billion worth of new information technology opportunities from the proposed economic stimulus package, according to Input Inc.
The projection is based on analysis of the House of Representatives’ version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Reston, Va.-based market research firm said Feb. 11. “The broadband rollout represents the largest portion of the likely state and local technology investment in both [House and Senate] versions of the bill,” said Chris Dixon, Input’s manager of state and local analysis. Facilities modernization, mass transit and health IT also will drive technology spending, he said. Funding for these areas is included in both versions. Improvements to physical infrastructure and mass transportation are likely to have key technology components, Dixon said. “Increased security and efficiency is the key in these areas, and both are technology-intensive outcomes,” he said.
Funding in both bills will drive significant improvements in health IT through initiatives aimed at improving the flow of electronic information at hospitals and clinics as well as large-scale Medicaid Management Information System projects. The two versions contain key funding differences, Input said. While the House version has substantial spending for education, law enforcement and unemployment insurance, the Senate version would trim spending in those areas, and instead allocate more dollars to broadband and health IT.