Major Movement for NSGIC Legislative Priorities

By Molly Schar  |  May 26, 2017

Both the Geospatial Data Act and the Digital Coast Act had big days yesterday. The bills are making their way through the 115th Congress after stalling out in prior years.

The Geospatial Data Act of 2017 was introduced yesterday by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) as S.1253. Over the course of the last few years, NSGIC has worked closely with other stakeholders to provide input with the states' perspective on improving the coordination and use of geospatial data.

NSGIC president Bert Granberg said this upon the bill's reintroduction: "From transportation, to natural resources, to homeland security, map-based digital information has quietly become mission critical to how work gets done and to future economic growth. We need an efficiency and accountability framework to build, sustain, and share geographic data assets for the entire nation. The GDA delivers just that." (Read more in the press releases put out by Senator Hatch and Senator Warner.)

The Digital Coast Act, which was re-introduced in mid-January as S.110, passed the Senate by unanimous consent yesterday. A companion bill in the House is expected to be introduced in the next couple of weeks. This legislation will authorize the Digital Coast Program managed by NOAA's Office of Coastal Management and supported by NSGIC and the seven other organizations that make up the Digital Coast Partnership, which builds more resilient coastal communities while preventing costly duplication of effort by multiple state and local governments.

For both bills, strong bipartisan support is key to further movement. Learn more about NSGIC's legislative priorities.