February 03, 2024

Selected links to items focusing on government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending February 2, 2024

8 Features of the Best Audit Management Software for Public Sector The shift to electronic working papers in the audit community fosters collaboration but inadvertently generates dark data. Audit management software offers solutions to access, analyze and maximize audit data's value. READ MORE


911 Livestreaming Firm Prepared Makes a Fresh Bet With AI
The company has launched new product tiers, with features that include audio processing and artificial intelligence. Prepared recently completed a Series A funding round with a VC heavyweight. READ MORE


Axon Brings Its Public Safety Technology to Retail The provider of body cameras and Tasers to police is making a push into retail and health care via a new product line. That move comes amid larger changes in public safety tech. READ MORE


Baltimore City Schools Unveil 25 New Electric School Buses The new e-buses in Baltimore are part of a nationwide push to transition the U.S.' 480,000 school buses away from their dependence on fossil fuels. Officials say the new vehicles will mean quieter roads and facilities. READ MORE


Better Security Starts with Search Learn how the Texas A&M University System reduced detection time by 99% using Elastic. READ THEIR STORY


Black Buyers Likely to Lose Gains as Housing Affordability Drops In 2020, Black homeownership jumped to nearly 46 percent, the highest rate since 2010, and held close to that in 2021 and 2022. But as borrowing costs and home prices rise, it’s unlikely their gains will hold. READ MORE


Citizen Engagement Tools Build Trust, Public Access to Government AI-powered chatbots and translation tools are just some of the offerings available to state and local governments looking to connect with residents and increase civic participation. READ MORE


Colorado Lawmakers Lead Push on Regulating AI As artificial intelligence continues to reshape society, some of Colorado’s highest-profile federal lawmakers are trying to establish guardrails without shutting down the technology altogether. READ MORE


Colorado Might Pay Former Inmates for Workforce Development A pilot program would provide $3,000 to people leaving Colorado prisons for basic living expenses if they agree to participate in a workforce development program. The proposal faces an uphill battle in the Legislature. READ MORE


Connecticut Proposes Lowering Alcohol Limit to Prevent Traffic Deaths During the first 22 days of this year, 17 people died in road crashes across the state. Legislators have proposed legislation to lower the blood alcohol level for arrest to .05, down from the current .08. READ MORE


Could an Emergency Declaration Help Save Louisiana’s Coastline? The state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has advised Gov. Jeff Landry that he should declare a state of emergency for coastal Louisiana. This would prod agencies to advance the state’s 50-year Coastal Master Plan. READ MORE


Creating More Than Just Pretty Websites Local government websites should be resident engagement tools, not digital brochures or org charts. We use intuitive navigation, smart search, and more for optimal self-service. Download the Fact Sheet


Disaster Zone Podcast: ‘Transforming Wildfire Management With AI’ Using technology to aid in prevention and mitigation. READ MORE


Empowering First Responders to Stay Connected This paper provides insightful information on enabling seamless emergency communications, the benefits of purpose-built communication devices in minimizing risks for first responders, and utilizing the capabilities of 5G to support a density of IoT devices and enable new capabilities DOWNLOAD PDF


Federal Agencies Team Up to Tackle AI DemocratizationThe U.S. National Science Foundation and other collaborating federal agencies are launching a national pilot to research, and ultimately bolster investment in, the area of artificial intelligence. READ MORE


Forum Questions Future of Digital Identity, Path Forward Panelists at a recent policy forum said passkeys with detection-enabled biometrics make for a more secure online future, but accessibility and digital equity concerns must be addressed. READ MORE


Fulton County, Ga., Cyber Attack Causing Major Outages Currently, residents cannot get new marriage certificates, election offices are closed, property transactions cannot be processed and online court record systems are unavailable. READ MORE


As Georgia introduces new legislation to address cyberbullying and regulate teenage social media use, other states with comparative laws are facing staunch legal challenges related to privacy. READ MORE


GSA Partners With Local, State Agencies on Notification Platform The U.S. General Services Administration has chosen to collaborate with four states to pilot a text notification platform geared toward enhancing internal and external communication surrounding federal benefits services. READ MORE


Homeless Point-in-Time Counts: Tech Means Better Data, Outcomes Point-in-time counts show government officials how and where homelessness impacts communities, informing the equitable distribution of resources. GIS tech and new processes are improving the accuracy of these counts. READ MORE


Improving cyber resiliency—now StateRAMP™ authorized Protect your agency’s data, ensure mission continuity, and stay resilient against any cyber threat. LEARN HOW


K-12 Cybersecurity Spending, Insurance on the Rise According to a survey by the school software company Clever, most K-12 administrators predict more cybersecurity spending in the near future, and most districts have cybersecurity insurance or are planning to acquire it. READ MORE


Keeping Deepfakes Out of Court May Take Shared Effort Court officials anticipate having messy debates over whether evidence is authentic or fabricated, with deepfakes skewing jurors’ decisions and digital forensics analysts helping to find the truth. READ MORE


Market for Disaster Management Tools Expands to Meet Need As hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes grow in strength and frequency, first responders are increasingly adopting new digital tools like drones and integrated dispatch systems to improve response. READ MORE


Medicate, Mitigate and Rejuvenate: An Agenda for States in 2024 Mental health, climate and workforce are at the core of a complex cluster of issues confronting lawmakers this year. READ MORE


Micromobility Is Quickly Becoming a Digital Experience Artificial intelligence and other technology common to modern transportation systems are finding their way into bikes, scooters and other micromobility devices. READ MORE


New York City Pledges to Pay Off $2B in Medical Debt In 2022, Cook County, Ill., became the first local government to partner with the nonprofit group RIP Medical Debt to use private donor funds to buy up and forgive patient debt. Since then, seven local governments, including NYC, have joined the program. READ MORE


NTIA's Fiber-Only BEAD Policy Limits Broadband Expansion As states work to make use of federal broadband funding, a stipulation that the money can't be used for wireless networks is shortsighted and could hinder high-speed Internet access for those who need it now. READ MORE


People Who Visit Their Municipality's Website Are 5x More Likely to Trust Their Local Government. A frictionless online experience for your residents leads to increased use of online services. Learn the five features your website needs to increase resident self-service. GET MY eBOOK


Political Interference and the Future of Higher Education Public universities are under siege in too many places as elected officials move to install new leaders and limit what can be taught. Educational institutions should be safe for learning and as incubators for democracy. READ MORE


Secure Access Service Edge Architecture (SASE) Explained SASE has emerged in recent years as a definitive aspect of modern network architecture and security. Learn about this in the latest explainer brief. DOWNLOAD NOW


State of the States 2024: AI Ushers in ‘Dawn of a New Era’ From broadband and electric vehicles to social media and AI, we look at where governors hope to invest state budgets as they deliver their biggest speeches of the year. READ MORE


Telehealth, Analytics Tools Impact the Work of Public Health Offerings from companies like Lyssn and Biobot Analytics have the potential to majorly change not only how people access physical and mental health services, but how government responds to those needs. READ MORE


Texas Oil and Gas Pays $26.3B in State and Local Taxes, Royalties The industry paid the highest total of state and local taxes and state royalties last year in all of Texas history, breaking last year’s record by more than $1.5 billion. The taxes translate to $72 million daily for schools, roads, first responders and more. READ MORE


The Case for Meaningful Public University Oversight Culture-war conflicts obscure our neglect of a responsibility for holistic, constructive legislative oversight of public higher education. Lawmakers should hold governing boards accountable for meeting the needs of their students. READ MORE


The Challenges Suburbs Face in Refilling Office Space Urban downtowns are navigating a “doom loop” of office vacancy, retail decline and lower transit ridership. Things look both a bit different and somewhat similar in the suburbs. READ MORE


The Increasing Trend of Lawmakers Overriding Ballot Initiatives Legislatures and governors are not afraid of undermining — or even downright repealing — citizen initiatives that win at the ballot box. READ MORE


The Terrifying New Tactic Used to Harass Public Officials Swatting — falsely reporting a serious emergency to provoke aggressive police response — is on the rise. Fighting this dangerous and distracting trend remains challenging, both legally and technologically. READ MORE


Three Dallas-Area Races That Could Reshape Local Politics The low-profile primary races in state House District 108 and the contest for Dallas County Republican Party chair will have wide-reaching impacts. READ MORE


Vermont IT Modernization Takes a Relationship-First Focus Vermont is revamping legacy IT systems, some of which are 50 years old, while also exploring uses for new technologies, including artificial intelligence. READ MORE


Washington State Lawmakers Look to Tackle Generative AI Gov. Jay Inslee has signed an executive order requiring state agencies to make guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence that mimics the human brain to create new pictures, words, sounds and videos. READ MORE


What It Will Take to Make Rural Broadband Affordable — and Keep It That Way Tens of billions in federal funds are on the way to spread high-speed Internet across the countryside. States should structure their grant programs to make sure markets are competitive. READ MORE


Where Pension Incentive Pay Makes Sense — and Doesn’t Long-term financial incentives for investment success are commonplace in the private sector, but tricky to design in public retirement plans. The implementation challenges are structural, operational, methodological and, yes, political. READ MORE


Why AI Can’t Replace Air Traffic Controllers An air traffic safety expert explains why humans will remain central to managing the nation’s airports and airspace even as AI promises to improve air traffic control. 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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