On December 21, 2017 the U.S. Senate passed Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s Connected Government Act (H.R. 2331). The bill now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.“Quite simply, this bill will put nearly all government services in your pocket,” said Congresswoman Kelly. The legislation mandates that all updated and redesigned federal government websites be mobile-friendly.
“Deep urban and remote rural communities are the most affected by our government’s failure to provide mobile-accessible websites. Without broadband coverage, these Americans are tied to the mobile-only Internet. Since my district includes part of the City of Chicago and more than 1,200 farms, I understand how this bill will have different, but equally positive impacts throughout urban, suburban and rural communities,” said Congresswoman Kelly, top Democrat on the Oversight Committee’s Information Technology (IT) subcommittee.
According to an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) report, more than 40 percent of government websites are not mobile-friendly, including the application for federal student aid (FAFSA) and the launch point for bidding on government contracts. According to research conducted by Pew, one in ten Americans only access the Internet via a mobile device and 77 percent of Americans now have smartphones.
“More and more Americans are using smartphones to access government services. We have a responsibility to keep pace with technological innovation and make it easy for citizens to engage with their government,” added Congresswoman Kelly. “I’d like to thank Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) for working with me to pass this common sense bill.”
On November 15th, the legislation was unanimously passed by the U.S. House. It passed through the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in September. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has declared that the legislation will have “no significant cost” to taxpayers.