New California office aims to improve government service

June 26, 2019 - 11:52 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom wants state government to start acting more like a business when it comes to providing services for California's nearly 40 million residents.

The new Office of Digital Innovation will employ 50 people at a cost of $26 million in the first year. Lawmakers recently approved the office as part of the state budget.

It's aimed at improving how state government interacts with residents when they do things such as seek benefits, start a business or renew a driver's license. Other states including Alaska and New Jersey have hired chief innovation officers but haven't gone as far as creating entire state offices.

Many say the state's technology needs an upgrade. But some critics and supporters alike see potential for the new office to overlap other state agencies' services.

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