Bill Summaries: H796 (2021)

  • Summary date: May 3 2021 - View summary

    Includes whereas clauses. States NCGA findings on NCGA operations and public access. Creates the 15-member North Carolina General Assembly Technology Task Force (Task Force) to investigate the current status of information technology operations at the NCGA to ensure that the NCGS runs seamlessly, under both normal or exceptional circumstances, and to ensure meaningful public participation for individuals with disabilities and those with limited connectivity. Sets out membership requirements and requires the appointing authorities to select individuals who regularly use the NCGA website and other technology provided by the NCGA. Requires Task Force appointments to be made no later than August 1, 2021. Provides for appointing co-chairs, filling vacancies, establishing a quorum, compensation, meeting space, and staffing. Requires the Task Force to study: (1) how other states have implemented meaningful public participation for individuals with disabilities and those with limited connectivity; (2) technology, including hardware and software, telephony, and other prerequisite infrastructure to enable legislators and staff to work efficiently and effectively, whether present on the legislative campus, teleworking, or some combination thereof; and (3) any other issues the Task Force deems relevant to its work. Requires the Task Force to develop a three-year plan for the installation, deployment, and testing of all recommended technology, including cost estimates for implementation of the plan, and report its findings and recommendations to the Legislative Services Commission by March 31, 2022. Terminates the Task Force upon the earlier of the filing of its report or March 31, 2022. 

    Appropriates $120,000 for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the NCGA to be allocated as follows: (1) $95,000 to plan and deploy a one-year trial of closed captioning of legislative proceedings; (2) $25,000 to the Division of Information Systems to be used to: determine how to enhance the NCGA's current web-based bill tracking system and plan, install, deploy, and test a closed-captioning system for video broadcasts and video replays of daily legislative sessions and any recorded committee meetings.

    Effective July 1, 2021.