December 02, 2023

Selected links to items focusing on government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending December 1, 2023

A Shrinking Labor Force Isn’t Entirely Bad News Tight labor markets can be hard on corporations. But they can help marginal workers find jobs. READ MORE


Anne Arundel Makes Free Transportation More Accessible Last fall, the county’s ridership averaged around 18,000 a month; now, it’s nearly at 30,000 monthly riders. The Call N’ Ride program use, which offers free transit, has increased 222 percent over the last year. READ MORE


Building Resilience in State and Local Government IT As we turn toward the new year, the Center for Digital Government looks at what it takes to survive and thrive as a gov tech leader in even the most challenging of circumstances. READ MORE


Building Trust in the Exponential Age — ICYMI Zencity CEO and co-founder Eyal Feder-Levy discusses the evolving ways in which government leaders can make informed, transparent and effective decisions to earn the trust of the communities they serve. READ MORE


California AI Report Tempers Benefits With Potential Risks The Newsom administration's new examination of generative artificial intelligence tools in state government identified significant areas of potential risk, including privacy, security and several others. 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


California Weighs Pros and Cons of AI in Government A new report analyzes how artificial technology could be used in stage government without risking data privacy, misinformation, equity or bias. Gov. Gavin Newsom called the report an important first step. READ MORE


Chicago Mayor’s Budget Relies 15% More on Fines and Fees Brandon Johnson had previously critiqued how the city has used a tax structure that relies on property taxes, fines and fees, and yet his 2024 proposed budget counts on $46 million more in fines and fees than this year. READ MORE


Citizen Cyber Brigades Held Promise — Have They Delivered? Amid struggles to fill open cybersecurity positions, some states have looked toward volunteer citizen brigades trained to respond when smaller jurisdictions need help. Experts consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks. READ MORE


Climate Report Highlights Illinois’ Environmental Equity Issues The fifth National Climate Assessment found that the Midwest region faces threats caused by rising temperatures, drought and extreme precipitation. Since 1980, the region has incurred over $49 billion in economic damage due to flooding. READ MORE


Demand for Downtown Seattle Office Space Declines: A Bad Sign Interest in leasing new office space was at just 21 percent of pre-pandemic levels for the third quarter of 2023. However, there was a slight increase in tenants looking for mid-sized office space. READ MORE


Democratic Groups Embrace 'Freedom' for Their Policy Frameworks Democrats at the local, state and federal levels are all using freedom as a catchall, believing the value helps promote their various policy ideas. READ MORE


Despite Less Driving, Traffic Deaths Still Increasing Fatalities increased 18 percent from 2019 to 2022, despite the fact that the overall number of miles traveled decreased by 3 percent. Policymakers are trying to find ways to curb speeding and reckless driving. READ MORE


Do States Need Digital Accessibility Coordinators? A new brief from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers underlines the importance of and reason for having a position dedicated to statewide digital accessibility coordination. READ MORE


FCC Proposes Cybersecurity Pilot for Libraries, K-12 Schools The Federal Communications Commission's $200 million initiative would help income-eligible districts and libraries identify what data protection measures are needed and provide discounted cybersecurity tools. READ MORE


Feds Issue Warning on Ransomware Group Targeting Public Sector The FBI and CISA, along with the MS-ISAC, issued a joint advisory explaining Rhysida ransomware actors’ known tactics, techniques and procedures and indicators of compromise — and ways to better defend. READ MORE


Florida Considers How to Cool Prisons Ahead of Next Summer Over three-quarters, or more than 500 dorms, of state-run correctional housing units don’t have air conditioning, but proposed legislation would make it a requirement to provide some cool air to the units by July 1. READ MORE


Houston’s Transportation Leaders Are Becoming More Diverse As the city approaches a population of 8 million, transportation leaders will need to find ways to improve movement across the region before the growth becomes unsustainable. Leaders with more diverse backgrounds may help with the solution. READ MORE

How Green Does a City Need to Be? One scholar thinks we have carried our penchant for urban tree-worship a bit too far, giving nature too much credit for city-dwellers’ mental health. READ MORE


How Important Is Surveillance Tech on Public Transit? As a major California public transit agency grapples with ongoing public safety, funding and ridership challenges — the same issues many transit agencies are facing — its use of surveillance technology is evolving. READ MORE


How Popular Are Generative AI Apps? In the past year, ChatGPT has become one of the fastest growing online services ever. But how popular are the generative AI apps? A recent study reveals the data behind the growth. READ MORE


Huber Heights, Ohio, Suffers Ransomware Attack on Systems A weekend morning ransomware attack on Huber Heights, Ohio, is affecting systems like finance, utilities and human resources. The city expects the disruption to last through the week. READ MORE


I Oversaw Border Protection. Chicago and NYC Are Doing What They Can to Ease the Migrant Crisis There are no easy solutions to America’s growing immigration challenges, but Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and New York Mayor Eric Adams should be recognized for the decisive action they have taken. READ MORE


Iowa Offers Schools Free EDR, 24-Hour Monitoring Services The state Department of Management Division of Information Technology will provide K-12 schools with 16 months of endpoint detection and response services, including 24-hour monitoring and incident response. READ MORE


Is California’s Transitional Kindergarten Worth the Costs? The state has pledged billions of dollars to its pre-kindergarten program, which will be available to 4-year-olds for free, but has no plans to formally evaluate its benefits. Many are wondering: Is the program effective? 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


Long Beach, Calif., Mulls Emergency Declaration Over Cyber Incident The City Council will meet at noon today to decide whether to ratify the city manager’s push for emergency powers to help the city respond to a cyber incident that struck its systems Tuesday. READ MORE


Michigan Deploys ZeroEyes Gun Detection at State Capitol This marks the first ZeroEyes deployment in a state capitol building. The company, whose tools work with security cameras, recently raised $23 million and hopes to sell more often to public agencies, along with schools. READ MORE


Michigan Establishes Energy Storage Standard, First in Midwest Once the legislative package gets signed into law, the state will have plans for at least 2,500 megawatts of energy storage and all state-regulated utilities will need to submit storage plans to the Public Service Commission by 2030. READ MORE


Modernizing the Transportation Workforce The U.S. government is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to modernize the nation’s transportation infrastructure, making it safer and more sustainable. But making the best use of modern digital technologies requires a properly trained transportation workforce. DOWNLOAD NOW


Most of LAPD Body Cam Footage Goes Unseen. Can AI Help? Los Angeles spends millions on body cameras to help provide transparency and accountability, but most of the footage never gets seen. Now department leaders are wondering if artificial intelligence can help solve the issue. READ MORE


New Jersey Unveils AI Policy to Guide Use by State Employees The state of New Jersey now has a new policy to guide the use of generative AI by state employees; this closely follows the state’s creation of the Artificial Intelligence Task Force last month. READ MORE


New Jersey Will Transition to All Electric New Car Sales by 2035 Transportation emissions accounted for 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, the most of any sector. The Advanced Clean Cars II mandate will require 51 percent of new car sales to be electric in 2027. READ MORE


New Massachusetts Commission Aims to Improve Policing The Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission is able to examine the conduct of officers and issue discipline, regardless of whether or not they are found at fault by their peers. The discipline can be anything from retraining to decertification. READ MORE


New Report Examines Pressing K-12 Cybersecurity Concerns Schools faced off against ransomware, banking Trojans, cryptominers and other threats, while citing limited cyber funding. This year, more schools struggled with threat detection and incident response management. READ MORE


New York State Library is preparing to hold a digital equity roundtable, a report details the lack of Internet at rural Pennsylvania schools, and more. READ MORE


No, Criminal Justice Reform Isn’t Driving Rising Crime States around the country are enacting common-sense, bipartisan reforms that will help break the cycle of poverty, crime and incarceration, making our system fairer and our communities safer. READ MORE


Ohio Supreme Court Upholds New Redistricting Maps The 4-3 ruling approved the new state House and Senate maps and will enact them through 2030, dismissing lawsuits that claimed the new maps were illegally gerrymandered. READ MORE


One Transit Fan Takes on Miami Metrorail’s Lack of Transparency What started as a simple question, “when will Metrorail riders on evenings and weekends be spared the longer waits for train arrivals,” has turned into a 5,757-page journey of emails and attachments, all without an answer. READ MORE


Outgoing Colorado CIO Shares Progress in Digital Services, Culture As outgoing Colorado CIO Anthony Neal-Graves reflects on his achievements during his time with the state, he welcomes David Edinger into the role to continue to build on advances in digital government. READ MORE


PayIt Hires Accela Vet Tom Nieto as President and COO PayIt sells payments, licensing and outdoor permitting tech, and recently raised $90 million. Nieto talks about how the company intends to grow in 2024, and what his experience helping to lead Accela taught him. READ MORE


Pennsylvania House Approves Bill for Striking Worker Pay The measure would grant unemployment benefits to striking workers by amending existing state law. Republicans oppose the measure, making the bill’s future in the GOP-controlled Senate uncertain.


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


S.F. Closes Fake COVID Testing Sites That Offered Cash City officials have successfully shut down the lime-green tents that were advertising “Free COVID Testing” and were offering $5 cash to individuals in exchange for personal information and test samples. READ MORE


States Enact Measures to Protect Residents from Extreme Heat The summer of 2023 was the hottest on record globally as was the 12-month period ending Oct. 31. Nationally, 1,784 people have died from heat-related causes so far this year, almost double the amount in 2018. READ MORE


Texas Drops More Than 810,000 Children from Its Medicaid Rolls Since the end of the pandemic-era continuous Medicaid renewals, 1.4 million Texans have been dropped from the federal health insurance program and 58 percent of them have been children. READ MORE


The Culture of Policing Needs to Change, and It Can
The warrior mentality is perpetuated from generation to generation. An ex-cop’s thoughtful new book suggests pathways for reform. 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


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


Wisconsin Fills Vacant Chief Information Security Position Wisconsin’s Division of Enterprise Technology has a new senior leader in Troy Stairwalt. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the private sector to the chief information security officer role. READ MORE


Wisconsin’s Volunteer Cyber Team Explodes in Membership The volunteer group can assemble a response team seven minutes after a request for help — usually from a small city, county or school district. The number of participants has grown alongside the number of attacks. READ MORE


With Homelessness Surging, Mayors Share Possible Solutions One of the hallmarks of effective homeless response is coordinated effort. Mayors met in Los Angeles, the nation's homeless capital, to figure out how they can work together to reduce the entrenched problem. READ MORE


Workplace EV Charging Support Services Coming Online Both CALSTART and Forth Mobility have put forward resources to help businesses navigate the new terrain for installing electric vehicle chargers to serve their workforce. READ MORE



Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
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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