N.J.'s largest-ever tech budget proposed

million for technology initiatives, the largest technology budget in the state's history.

The proposal includes a 13 percent funding increase for the Office of Information

Technology.

In her budget address, Whitman proposed $112.7 million for OIT's operating budget and capital investments, an increase of $12.7 million from the fiscal 2000 appropriation. She also budgeted an additional $37 million to support World Wide Web-enabled applications and another $27 million to increase funding for ongoing agency-specific projects.

The 13 percent increase in OIT's budget will fund four key areas outlined in the state's strategic plan:

* E-government.

* Network upgrades and security through the use of public-key infrastructure.

* Data sharing and integration.

* Geographic information systems technology.

The ultimate goal of these initiatives is to transform the Garden State to the "Online State," said Adel Ebeid, chief technology officer for OIT.

"We're being given the financial backing to take a critical leap forward," Ebeid said. "We have the opportunity to strengthen our customer service and deliver the services our citizens want and need through the effective use of technology."

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