JEFFERSON CITY - If a state computer system fails, the governor could call up the National Guard under a proposal recently filed in Missouri's legislature.
In addition, businesses trying to eliminate Y2K computer glitches and have fewer than 50 employees, would receive more legal protection against liability under the bill proposed by Sen. Franc Flotron, R-St. Louis County. It also would expand the definition of a national emergency to include the Y2K problem.
"The governor would be authorized to call in the National Guard if there were computer problems," Flotron said. "We might be able to use its standby or emergency equipment to generate power if we needed it."
He does not anticipate the need for the National Guard, but included it in the bill to ease some people's anxiety over the possible Y2K problem.
Another bill proposed by Rep. Robert Hilgemann, D-St. Louis, would make state employees or political subdivisions not liable for loses caused by computer failure.
"I don't anticipate this being a major catastrophe," Hilgemann said. "I don't see the Y2K problem as being the next apocalypse."
"We don't want to get all kinds of class action suits over a few dollars clogging up the system," he said.
Only computer systems which have already met certain Y2K standards would be exempt.
Sen. Flotron is the founder of an interactive marketing multimedia development firm and Rep. Higlemann has been involved with computers for over 20 years.