Billions in stimulus money seen for technology

As much as $100 billion in economic stimulus law funding may flow to technology companies for energy efficiency, broadband, electronic health records and education technology, according to an analysis by TechAmerica.

About half of the $100 billion will be distributed through state governments and agencies, said Olga Grkavac, the organization's executive vice president for the public sector. “We expect about $50 billion in federal and $50 billion in state technology spending,” she said.

States are beginning to organize to determine how that money should be spent, said Roxanne Gould, the senior vice president of state government affairs. In California, a task force intends to modernize 1,200 schools, initiate electronic health records and centralize information technology purchases under the law, she said. In Florida, officials are planning to expand fiber-optic computer networks for schools.

Ideally, the money should be sent to a balanced mix of contractor and non-contractor projects, short-term and long-term projects, with some through existing contracts and some through new contracts, said Christopher Hansen, chief executive officer of TechAmerica. It represents about 1,500 technology companies.

“We are in favor of distributing it with long-term benefits and short-term benefits,” said Hansen. Projects should be examined on a case-by-case basis to see what is most effective and provides the most value, he said.

TechAmerica was created from a merger of the Information Technology Association of America and the American Electronics Association.

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