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December 09, 2023

Selected links to items focusing on government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending December 8, 2023

2023: The Year Generative AI Gained Ground in Gov Tech While the likes of ChatGPT and its competitors may give pause to leaders in both the private and public sectors, it would be hard to find a state or local CIO dismissive of the potential and influence of generative AI. READ MORE

 

2023’s Dark Horse Cyber Story: Critical Infrastructure Attacks There are several cybersecurity trends that truly deserve top attention when we look back at 2023 — and they will get it. Meanwhile, cyber attacks against critical infrastructure quietly grow, despite a lack of major attention. READ MORE

 

3 Ways AI Can Make a Splash in Government, Fast At a recent gathering of public- and private-sector technology leaders, discussions included several examples of how AI can help the public sector without piling onto time and resource burdens. READ MORE

 

A Growing Momentum to Invest in Programs That Work It’s happening in red and blue states alike: Policymakers and civil servants are increasingly relying on evidence to transform how taxpayer dollars are spent. READ MORE

 

California Report Offers Glimpse at AI Use in State Government How might California government make use of generative artificial intelligence? Officials suggest several ways that the technology could be introduced to state government functions. READ MORE

 

Cities Hope AI Camera Enforcement Can Improve Bus Service Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., are using bus-mounted cameras with AI technology to better enforce parking violations, hoping to clear transit lanes of vehicles and make public transit faster and safer. READ MORE

 

Colorado Dodged a Recession This Year. Can It Do It Again? Despite job gains moving at their slowest pace since 2011 and extreme stress in commercial real estate, Colorado managed to stave off a recession this year. Many are wondering whether it can keep an economic downturn at bay again next year. READ MORE

 

Cybersecurity Trends Point to More Sophisticated Attacks Ahead As ransomware attacks have continued to hit state and local organizations — and tech advancements like generative AI have continued apace — cyber experts predict evolving malicious tactics for 2024. READ MORE

 

Dallas Wins $5M Grant to Help Relocate Housing Voucher Holders The city’s Housing Authority received the federal grant to help voucher holders relocate to areas of high opportunity. The DHA estimates that more than 3,500 families are living in non-high-opportunity areas. READ MORE

 

Election Workers Push Back on Disruptions and Threats Election offices in California, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon and Washington received powder-filled letters around the November election. But states and workers are increasing efforts to protect democratic elections amid continued risk. READ MORE

 

EVs Are a Tough Sell in Texas. Here’s Why. A new survey found that only about 5 percent of Texans currently drive an electric vehicle and, of those who don’t currently own or lease an EV, about 60 percent said they probably wouldn’t consider one in the future either. READ MORE

 

How Did Georgia’s Budget Reserve Grow So Big So Fast? In 2021, the state’s surplus was $3.7 billion and a year later it had grown by nearly another $3 billion. Now with $16 billion reserved, it’s likely that increased spending will occur in next year’s session. READ MORE

 

How Technology Is Shaping Parking Policy, Pricing and Enforcement A digital parking technology pilot in Arlington County, Va., is providing fresh, real-time data related to which areas of the city experience the highest parking demand and how to better manage those spaces. READ MORE

 

In the World of Smart Cities, No One Wants a ‘One-Hit Wonder’ Too often, urban technology doesn’t scale across cities because it’s simply not ready for prime time, experts argued at the recent Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo in National Harbor, Md. READ MORE

 

Long Beach CIO Opts to Stay on Post-Cyber Attack Long Beach CIO Paula Crowell was set to take over as Santa Monica’s CIO Dec. 18, but the far-reaching impacts of a November cyber attack prompted her to reconsider the transition. READ MORE

 

Long Beach Restores Some Services Equipped With Emergency Powers  Long Beach, Calif., continues to grapple with a Nov. 14 network security incident. It declared a local emergency on Nov. 17 and on Nov. 22 announced the restoration of a few services. READ MORE

 

Los Angeles Aims to Shift to Local Water Reliance by 2045 The nation’s largest county currently imports 60 percent of its water supply. The water plan that the Board of Supervisors adopted on Tuesday outlines how it will shift to sourcing 162 billion gallons locally instead. READ MORE

 

Niagara Considers Apprenticeship Requirement for County Projects A proposed law would require successful bidders for county construction work valued at $1 million or more to meet the standards of a New York State Apprenticeship program in an effort to retain trade students. READ MORE

 

Northeast Ohio Schools Ask: Should We Ban Cellphones? Nearly 100 percent of students use their phones for an average of 42 minutes during the school day, with social media being the top reason. A study found that adolescent smartphone use during weekdays resulted in worsened mental health. READ MORE

 

Ohio Creates Policy and Council to Govern Statewide AI Use Ohio’s new policy aims to ensure AI accountability with human verification mandates, plus a council to set requirements for how agencies must use the new technology, among other considerations. READ MORE

 

Preservica Launches Public Records Archiving and FOIA Tool The new product embeds in Microsoft 365 and can save officials from labor-intensive work to save minutes, correspondence and other documents. Other companies, too, have found opportunity in this gov tech niche. READ MORE

 

Professors Cite Data Privacy, Cheating Among Top AI Concerns Based on a recent professional development course about generative AI, college professors still have reservations about data privacy, plagiarism, accessibility and mixed messages around the technology. READ MORE

 

Public Pensions Are Losing Top Talent. Isn’t It Time to Rethink Compensation? High-profile departures of senior-level executives reflect not only an aging workforce and a more politicized operating environment in government but also salaries and benefits that need to be competitive with the private sector’s. READ MORE

 

Ransomware Impacts Health-Care Systems in Six States The affected health-care systems were hit by the cyber attack on Thanksgiving Day, and they were forced to divert ambulances in the aftermath, according to officials with Ardent Health Services. READ MORE

 

Ransomware Incident Affects Scores of Credit Unions Credit union solutions provider Ongoing Operations experienced a cyber incident in late November. About 60 credit unions are believed to be suffering a level of disruption as a result. READ MORE

 

Texas Chided for Conditions for Mentally Disabled Foster Youth A U.S. district judge has scolded the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for ignoring complaints of maltreatment and horrible living conditions for foster children with intellectual disabilities. READ MORE

 

The District of Columbia Unveils an AI-Powered Career Platform Career Ready DC, a new AI-matching technology platform from the DC Department of Employment Services and Eightfold AI, aims to help match residents with employment opportunities more efficiently and equitably. READ MORE

 

The YIMBY Movement Needs to Go Commercial Even in a work-from-home era, deregulation — fewer restrictions on commercial property development — would lead to more business creation and more jobs with higher wages. READ MORE

 

Thousands of Alaskans Wait on Food Aid Amid SNAP Backlog  More than 12,000 state residents who applied or attempted to recertify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, are still awaiting for their benefits to be processed months later. READ MORE

 

Two Schemes for Fighting Poverty: Which One Works Better? Investing in poor neighborhoods or dispersing the poor citywide each have their proponents. But place-based strategies — improving neighborhoods — may be our only feasible option. READ MORE

 

U.S. DOT Boosts Digital Construction in 10 States with $34M Grant According to the Federal Highway Administration, the grant funding, allocated under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to propel digital construction tools such as computer modeling and 3D design in 10 state DOTs. READ MORE

 

Watch for AI to Find Its Way Into Smart City Upgrades As cities update timeless technology like streetlights, they are laying the groundwork for smart city connectivity and data gathering. Artificial intelligence will help sift through the mounds of data these projects create. READ MORE

 

What Are the Best Measures to Thwart a School Shooting? “The school district doesn’t want law enforcement sitting around watching kids in the school during the day and law enforcement doesn’t want to sit around and watch kids during the school day either.” READ MORE

 

What Cyber Response Can Learn from Traditional Disasters Government has battle-tested playbooks for dealing with hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. As cyber emergencies become both more common and more devastating, what can cyber responders learn from physical emergency response? READ MORE

 

What Is Citrix Bleed? The Next Ransomware Patch You Need Adopting a patch released in October — and removing any threat actors that may already be exploiting unpatched instances of the software — is important to defending against new actors known to exploit this flaw. READ MORE

 

What's New in Digital Equity: Checking on the National Broadband Map 3.0 Plus, Maryland to put $27 million toward getting Internet devices for residents of underserved households, Colorado releases a new broadband workforce plan, and more. READ MORE

 

Who Will Pay for New Orleans’ Updated Power Grid? A New Orleans power utility wants customers to pay for the $750 million to $1 billion price tag, which could raise bills an additional $11.86 per month. But the city has pushed back saying there must be an affordable option for ratepayers. READ MORE

 

Wisconsin’s AI Strategy: Upskilling, Not Displacing Workers The chair of the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence shares how the state is aiming to be one of the first states to harness the power of AI by redefining the workplace. READ MORE

 

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New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
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