Kamala Harris wants to upgrade government tech systems

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris is making a tech move.

On Thursday, Sen. Harris introduced a bill called the Digital Service Act (PDF) to help state and local governments hire tech talent to upgrade their computer systems.

"Americans deserve a government that works for them and that just plain works," Harris, a Democrat from California, said in a release. "We must do more to empower our state and local governments to tap into the power of technology to provide seamless, cost-effective services for the 21st century. The Digital Service Act will help harness top talent for the government, save taxpayer dollars and put the power of technology to work on behalf of the American people."

If passed, the legislation would provide $50 million a year for government digital services, an additional $15 million would go toward seed grants for state and local governments to upgrade their systems in two years. The bill also requires at least half the grants to be used to hire talent instead of buying products. Governments would report on their progress at the end of the two-year period, and the US Digital Service would report to Congress biannually on the impact.

In October, President Donald Trump asked tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon to make it easier for staff to take leaves of absence to help modernize state and federal agencies' tech services.