Tuesday is your opportunity to testify in Jefferson City about Missouri’s outdated state IT system.

State Rep. Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs) speaks at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on July 19, 2021 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The Missouri House Subcommittee on Federal Stimulus Spending has called a noon hearing for Tuesday at the Statehouse, regarding state IT infrastructure overhaul. They’ll hear testimony from Office of Administration (OA) Commissioner Sarah Steelman, department officials and citizens.

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs) tells Missourinet that if anyone else would like to testify, they can call his office at (573) 751-2238 to be on the witness list.

Representative Richey has tremendous concerns about the state’s IT system. He wants to see a plan in place by January, for a serious overhaul of the state IT system. He says Missourians who need assistance with constituent services are frustrated, especially when they have issues involving multiple state departments and agencies. Many of them use different computer systems.

“It’s very frustrating and a lot of that frustration is tied to the fact that our IT is outdated. We have some departments that are still working with systems that are COBOL,” Richey told Missourinet in late June.

COBOL is a 60-year-old program.

Subcommittee members will also discuss how other states have successfully updated their computer systems, during Tuesday’s hearing.

Missouri is expected to receive billions of dollars in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden (D). Subcommittee chairman Richey says the stimulus money is a good opportunity for critical one-time capital improvement needs, such as the state IT overhaul. He says other potential opportunities include state buildings, colleges, universities, hospitals and for public safety.

The six-member subcommittee includes Chairman Richey and State Reps. Hannah Kelly (R-Mountain Grove), Don Mayhew (R-Crocker), Alex Riley (R-Springfield), Kevin Windham (D-Hillsdale) and Ingrid Burnett (D-Kansas City).

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