What does the new budget agreement say about GenAI?

Published On: June 25, 2024

On Saturday (June 22nd), the governor and legislative leaders announced a state budget agreement totaling $297.9 billion in expenditures that addresses a $46.8 billion deficit through a mix of spending reductions, revenue enhancements, and strategic use of reserves.

One aspect of the 2024 budget focuses on advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies while aiming for ethical and responsible implementation. As part of Saturday’s agreement, the Government Operations Agency (GovOps) will hold monthly meetings with designated legislative staff to discuss the progress and compliance of Executive Order N-12-23, which outlines the state’s AI initiatives.  The budget also calls for GovOps to require departments and agencies participating in GenAI pilot projects to comply with the state’s newly issued GenAI Guidelines for Public Sector Procurement, Uses, and Training, which will be discussed at a vendor forum hosted on June 25.

Jason Sisney, budget advisor to Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, posted the following about Saturday’s budget agreement:

The budget contains provisions requiring consultation between the legislative and executive branches on artificial intelligence (AI) activities in state government. The budget provides that if added budget resources are needed to implement or procure certain generative AI projects, the Government Operations Agency shall support departmental efforts to submit requests for added resources in the annual budget process. The budget clarifies requirements for treatment of personal information in state AI projects and notes that the Legislature and executive branch may modify or extend these provisions for future fiscal years.

In addition to monthly progress meetings and adherence to procurement guidelines, the budget agreement restricts the state from using non-public data for GenAI pilot projects.  If public data in projects includes personal information, it is confined to people 18 or older, according to budget language circulated on Saturday at the State Capitol.

The final state budget is pending approval by the Legislature and Governor. 

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