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State fund considered for hi-tech


The Glendening administration is exploring the possibility of setting up a special fund -- separate from the state's general fund -- to finance high-technology initiatives.

Major Riddick, the governor's chief of staff and acting chairman of the state's Information Technology Board, said that the administration will soon discuss the idea with legislators.

"They may have other ideas themselves," he said.

Both he and Gene Lynch, the state's secretary of general services, said that the idea is in a very early stage of development and had not been adopted as administration policy.

Nevertheless, Mr. Riddick's personal involvement in developing the idea gives an indication of the high priority the Glendening administration is putting on technology issues.

"We're saying there is a need to build the technology infrastructure of the state," Mr. Lynch said yesterday.

The idea behind the fund is to identify money the state earns or saves through technology initiatives and channel them into a separate fund that could be devoted to other technology-related projects, Mr. Lynch said. He compared the concept to that of having tolls go into a separate fund for the maintenance of highways.

Mr. Riddick said that the reinvestment fund would not be created by diverting current state revenues.

And Mr. Lynch said that the fund would not be used to bypass the appropriations process.

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