October 04, 2017

Senate Homeland Security Committee Passes Bipartisan Hassan-Gardner Connected Government Act

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the bipartisan Connected Government Act, which was introduced by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO). The bill would expand access to government services and information by requiring all new and redesigned federal websites to be mobile-friendly.

Given that low-income Americans rely on mobile broadband – as opposed to in-home broadband – at higher rates, the bipartisan bill would expand the reach of government services and information for lower income households. Experts have noted that mobile-friendly federal websites can be particularly important in the wake of hurricanes and other natural disasters. The legislation would also support the 80 percent of Americans who experience disabilities who use wireless technology every day.

“As Granite Staters and Americans increasingly rely on mobile devices to access the web, it is critical that the federal government is up to speed with the latest technology that allows our people and economy to thrive,” Senator Hassan said. “I am glad to see the bipartisan Connected Government Act pass through committee so that we can take much-needed steps to help provide access to government services and information for individuals who rely on mobile broadband.”

“Providing mobile-friendly government websites is an important step the federal government can take to provide better service for the American people,” said Gardner. “As more and more Americans rely on their mobile devices to access information and websites, it’s important the federal government has websites designed for mobile platforms. The Connected Government Act will promote commonsense transparency and bring the government into the 21st century. I am pleased the bill has been passed through Committee and will urge my colleagues to support the legislation on the Senate floor.”

The Connected Government Act also requires the General Services Administration to submit a report to Congress on agency compliance with this law within 18 months of enactment. Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) have introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.