RED STICK – At a July 8 meeting, State Treasurer John Schroder said Louisiana needs to learn how to better harness the benefits of modern technology. He hopes to explore the acceptance of electronic payment methods for all state agencies and delve into the digital assets available to the state and make recommendations for their best use.
Schroder urged members to consider plans to bring the state up to speed with accepting online payment for government services across all departments and agencies. This would potentially involve online payment providers such as Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, ApplePay and Google Pay. Current cash payment methods would not disappear.
“Louisiana needs to catch up to the 21st century and stop living in the Stone Age with the Flintstones,” Schroder said in a press release. “We need to be aggressive and catch up with the technology available to the citizens of Louisiana.”
Schroder added that his role as treasurer gives him some administrative financial responsibility in state agencies, but not the power to mandate the implementation of accepting online payments. He requested a meeting with the Division of Administration to discuss ways to achieve this.
“It’s about what’s most convenient for our customers: the taxpayers of the state of Louisiana,” he said. “What it’s not about is what’s easiest for agencies: the status quo.”
Additionally, the passage of concurrent House Resolution 103 in the 2022 regular legislative session resulted in the creation of the Louisiana Digital Assets Task Force as a subset of the CMRB. In accordance with the legislation, the task force is responsible for researching, reporting and making specific recommendations on a range of issues related to transformative technologies, including blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital assets, distributed ledgers, Internet of Things (IoT), intelligent automation, machine learning, robotics, tokenization and related technologies. It also calls for the creation of a broader advisory group of experts in relevant areas of emerging fintech, including the Lafayette Public Innovation Alliance, as well as from across the country and around the world, to inform the work of the group. .
CMRB members named Schroder and Wright as initial members of the task force and heard plans to continue outreach to create an advisory group of experts in this new technology area.
Schroder assured members that the task force was not intended to invest in cryptocurrency.
“I want to be absolutely clear that there are no plans to invest state finances, money that belongs to our taxpayers, in any type of cryptocurrency,” he said. declared.
In other matters, members received and approved cybersecurity plans and financial procedures submitted by several, but not all, state agencies pursuant to Bill 66 of the 2021 Regular Legislative Session. They also reviewed and Approved escrow and bank account applications from multiple agencies.