State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey asked state lawmakers Wednesday to approve $1.85 million in supplemental money to be used for hiring several new employees and making necessary technology improvements within his office.
However, Morrisey told members of the Senate Finance Committee that he planned to offset the extra costs by making spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
Morrisey said the office’s current phone and email systems are outdated and need to be replaced.
In regards to the phone system, Morrisey said the manufacturer no longer provides maintenance. Consumer Protection Division employees don’t have voice mail.
Morrisey added that the office’s email system is currently not compatible with Microsoft Outlook, which is the system most state agencies use.
There is also a lack in the office of a computer system to store documents electronically forcing many divisions to store paper records.
Morrisey told the committee that all the outdated equipment puts the state at a great risk and raises serious legal ethics and security concerns. It also severely hampers the efficiency of the office.
A new phone system would cost about $260,000 and the computer software and hardware upgrades would cost $1.06 million. Morrisey said the money would also be used to hire seven additional workers at a cost of $504,765.
Morrisey also asked lawmakers for help in regards to a new case management system, better bookkeeping, a change of hours for some employees and in fixing the budget model.
The state Attorney General’s Office intends to offset the costs by not purchasing trinkets, not having Morrisey’s name printed on education materials, not using state money to purchase “broad-based advertising” during election years, and through the reduced use of outside counsel for the state’s legal affairs.
Morrisey said he intends to pay for every improvement and new dollar they are seeking.