Without debate, the House has passed legislation to set up the funding mechanism for a five-year, $102 million upgrade to the state’s business systems, including payroll, accounting and procurement. State Controller Brandon Woolf has been working on the plan for several years; lawmakers previously funded a feasibility study that laid out the roadmap for the upgrade. “Ladies and gentlemen, so many of you were not here 30 years ago,” Bell told the House. “You were home wearing leg warmers and holding a boom box on your shoulder – I know who you are. And if you had a cell phone, it was the size of a brick.”
“I was here,” Bell said. She recalled the big, heavy bill books she had to refer to, to look up a vote or a bill – compared to today’s relatively speedy online information. “This system is at the end of its life,” she told the House. “The option to do nothing was not ours.” She added, “Trust me, it will happen, and frankly, you need it to happen.”
The bill, HB 493, cleared the House without debate on a 57-12 vote, and now moves to the Senate. Those voting “no” were Reps. Chaney, Giddings, Hanks, Monks, Moon, Moyle, Nate, Palmer, Scott, Shepherd, Zito and Zollinger.