Tuesday, August 18, 2015

California Big Data bill SB 573 faces delay in committee; California Data Demo Day will be held the day before a decisive vote on the measure

SB 573, a bill now pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee of the California State Legislature, is likely to be put on the “suspense calendar” at tomorrow’s meeting of that panel, meaning that it will be re-considered on August 27th.  Bills costing more than $150,000 or so are usually put on suspense so they can be considered in more detail, and negotiations with the bills’ authors can be conducted to see about lowering the cost.

Costs associated with SB 573 include between $500,000 and a million dollars a year to run it, $293,000 to staff the office of the Chief Data Officer of the State of California, and a $125-235,000 one-time charge to set up the universal data portal that the bill calls for.

Anyone interested can watch the proceedings of tomorrow’s meeting of the Assembly Appropriations Committee as a live stream here.

Having the bill in suspense for another nine days means more opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of this bill among those most affected by it.  This group includes the high-tech companies who stand to profit the most by the bill’s passage, many of whom have aggregated themselves as the Data Transparency Coalition (DTC) ()   For the membership of the DTC, click here.

The DTC is presenting California Data Demo Day on August 26th in the Eureka Room of the California State Capitol in Sacramento.  You can read their press release about this here.

Speaking at that event will be Dr. Richard Pan, California State Senator from Senatorial District 6 and author of SB 573, as well as California Assemblymember Phil Ting from District 19 and Ash Roughani, from Code for Sacramento.

The intention of the event is to explain and demonstrate the power of Big Data & Analytics to make sense of and yield insights from the government-held data that will be released to the public in consolidated and machine-readable formats under the provisions of SB 573.

The event is “kindly provided” by TeraData, which, along with pwc and the Research Data Group, is an executive member of the Data Transparency Coalition.  

Since the bill will meet its fate when it is either taken out of suspense and sent on to the Assembly floor for consideration there or left to die in the suspense file the day after California Data Demo Day takes place in the same building, one can only assume that a lot of attention will be focused on the presentations and exhibitions at the event.  TeraData is an Exhibitor and so is Socrata (“The Data Experience Company”), a Seattle-based firm that builds data portals for governments of all levels, as well as for NGOs.

I’ve asked Socrata about the status of any negotiations it may be having with the State of California to provide it with its services in the creation and/or operations of the state’s universal data portal and am awaiting a reply.


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