February 17, 2024

Selected links to items focusing on government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending February 16, 2024

A Failed Solution to Our Soaring Homelessness Problem “Housing-first” programs are expensive and ineffective. “Treatment-first” approaches are more successful at improving the well-being of homeless people by reducing drug use and increasing employment stability. READ MORE


AI Gun Detection System Leads to Charges in New Mexico ZeroEyes, the creators of an AI-based gun detection video analytics platform, recently announced a positive detection of an illegally brandished firearm in Hobbs, N.M., that has resulted in criminal charges. READ MORE


Alabama Governor Creates Task Force for Responsible AI Adoption Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is aligning with national trends on AI regulation, establishing a task force via executive order to examine the current and future applications of the technology in state government. READ MORE


ALEC and Other Conservative Groups Push School Choice A conservative coalition is hoping to make private school choice universally available in half the states by the end of this year. READ MORE


An article in the January/February 2024 issue of Discover Magazine, The Year of the AI Conversation by Stephen Ornes, reports 97% of business owners surveyed believe AI will help their business, 77% of workers surveyed believe AI will cause job loss in 2024 and the number of CHATGFT users reported [as of August 2023] was "180.5 million." READ MORE


Automating Permit Applications Agencies and businesses desire quicker permit approvals. Automation via low-code tools and open source software streamlines processes effectively.READ MORE


Boosting Gov Adoption: Can a New, Quicker Process Help? According to a Government Technology analysis of CISA data, only 42 percent of counties have registered .gov domains. Now that the federal government is making it easier than ever to get a .gov domain, will more agencies make the change? READ MORE


California Bill Proposes Strict Safety Checks for AI Companies The legislation would set mandatory AI safety testing requirements before training or market release and would mandate an internal fail-safe be included in all AI systems to trigger an immediate shutdown if issues are detected. READ MORE


California’s Recent Flooding Highlights ‘Disaster Insurance Gap’ Of the eight Southern California counties that were under a state of emergency during the most recent storm, only 52,820 homes and businesses were covered by flood policies. READ MORE


Chicago Will End Contract With Police Tool ShotSpotter The city will sever its ties with the gunshot alert system after September. Mayor Brandon Johnson’s political supporters applauded the decision, but many officers are opposed. READ MORE


Cross-Agency Planning Key to Cybersecurity in San Francisco
CISO Michael Makstman explains what it takes to secure San Francisco, how the city is approaching generative AI and the importance of sharing information in the Coalition of City CISOs. READ MORE


Despite $25B in Funding, California Cops Only Solve 13% of Crimes The statewide clearance rate for crimes was just 13.2 percent in 2022, according to a new report. The rate for poverty crimes was only 7.2 percent. READ MORE


Digital Solutions for Affordable Housing Challenges How technology is bringing Government the efficiency needed to implement innovative affordable housing approaches. DOWNLOAD PDF


Digital-ready, Frictionless Revenue and Payment Solutions for State and Local Governments CORE + PayPal® is the modern connection platform designed to modernize the payments and engagement automation for state and local governments. LEARN MORE


Federal Money Could Supercharge State Efforts to Preserve Nuclear Power A plant in Michigan might become the first to reopen after closing. READ MORE


How 5G Can Help Improve Situational Awareness for First Responders 5G can support the streaming of large volumes of high-quality video, offering the potential for greatly improved situational awareness. Public safety can benefit from the high speeds and low latency that 5G can offer and that are based on technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), drone data, real-time situational intelligence and more. LEARN MORE


How New Public Transportation Technology is Prioritizing Passenger Safety As technology has advanced, innovative and affordable solutions give public safety agencies the flexibility to update their current software and security measures to state-of-the-art programming and equipment. Learn how technology can help provide passenger safety and security in public transport. SEE HOW


How the Election Misinformation Landscape Is Shifting Brookings Institution panelists considered how the proliferation of generative AI tools, weakening of social media platform trust and safety teams, and drawdown in federal communications with social media firms will impact the the 2024 elections. READ MORE


Infill Housing Has Its Benefits but Won't Always Drive Down Costs Charleston exemplifies an infill strategy that produces attractive new houses and greater density, but comes up short on affordability. READ MORE


Information-Sharing Platform Civic Roundtable Raises $5M The startup brings public officials together to share expertise and advice about cybersecurity, elections management and other issues that can challenge government agencies. Veterans of Mark43 help run the company. READ MORE


Local Government and the Need for Speed Project delays and slow bureaucratic processes are costly for constituents, businesses and governments themselves. What’s needed is a culture of urgency. READ MORE


Massachusetts Accessibility Officer Shares Holistic Approach Ashley Bloom, the state's first chief IT accessibility officer, shared that she is approaching the role with the mindset that accessibility should be integrated into all of the state's IT work. READ MORE


Michigan School District Integrates Safety With Audio Tool A system designed to amplify classroom audio can now be equipped with safety buttons that provide teachers with a one-touch ability to notify office personnel if something is amiss. READ MORE


Michigan to Become 21st State to Enact Red Flag Laws The state’s red flag complaint law went into effect on Tuesday. It will allow residents to seek temporary removal of firearms from at-risk individuals by obtaining an extreme risk protection order. READ MORE


Minnesota Citizens Will Soon Decide Which Inmates Get Parole Starting in July, a new citizen panel will review requests from inmates serving mandatory minimum life sentences, mostly for first-degree murder. Previously, the review process has been done by the corrections commissioner. READ MORE


National AI Safety Institute Consortium Takes Shape In accordance with President Joe Biden’s 2023 executive order on artificial intelligence, the federal government is moving forward with key actions — namely, the creation of an AI safety consortium. READ MORE


Nebraska Supreme Court Reviews $44K Fee for Public Records A reporter requested a keyword search of emails as part of an investigation into nitrates in the state’s drinking water from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy. What she got was a $44,103 bill for the state to begin the search. READ MORE


Observability for Hybrid IT Environments State and local governments use many digital tools to accomplish their goals, but the complex mix of different solutions can make it hard to spot inefficiencies, fix problems or even know if applications are working properly DOWNLOAD PDF


OpenGov Results Show Growing Strength of Cloud Migrations The 12-year-old company reports big recent sales gains — a reflection of larger trends in the gov tech world. A company executive also expresses skepticism about the role of private equity in the industry. READ MORE


Opinion: Regulating AI Requires First Knowing Its Boundaries As new learning methods are developed, the boundary between what is artificial intelligence and what is simply traditional computing methods keeps shifting. READ MORE


Permits and Grant Applications, Built with Ease Build permit and approval applications via Low Code Tools, which can create custom workflows quickly, speeding up application development and delivery. LEARN MORE


Power Outages Leave Poor Communities in the Dark Longer Data from over 15 million consumers in 588 counties across the nation reveal that poorer communities waited an average of 170 minutes more for power to be restored, though sometimes it took much longer. READ MORE


Problems With Idaho’s New $100M Financial System Demonstrate Just How Hard Modernization Is The new project aimed to modernize accounting, hiring and employee review, but for many, the overhaul has just added unnecessary frustration. The last time Idaho overhauled its processes to this extent was in the 1980s. READ MORE]


Robocalls Featuring AI-Generated Voices Deemed Illegal Robocalls using artificial intelligence to fake human voices are illegal, federal authorities have ruled, two days after New Hampshire launched a criminal probe into calls spoofing the voice of President Biden. 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


Special: Securing America's Digital Infrastructure GOVTECH CYBERSECURITY has rounded up industry best practices on topics such as security, threats, and privacy. See how companies are helping state and local agencies tackle and prepare for all things cybersecurity. Read more here NEWS, CONVERSATIONS AND RESOURCES


The Biggest Social Issues to Watch in 2024 Legislatures across the nation are confronting several social issues including crime, drug use, immigration and poverty. These issues will continue to hold resonance, of course, in the November elections. READ MORE


The Rise of the Equity Analyst: Transforming DEI With Data The creation of a new position in Indianapolis highlights an emerging trend of recruiting employees with technical data skills to focus on DEI initiatives. But can agencies successfully fill the roles and develop robust programs? READ MORE


The Tedious Parts of City Planning Could Be Turned Over to AI A New Hampshire city joins a growing list of local governments that are turning over some of the more time-intensive tasks of planning operations to artificial intelligence technologies. READ MORE


Trends in State and Local Government IT for 2024: Download using the following link: Emerging Trends in State and Local Government IT for 2024. Government Technology also has hundreds of available downloads in its resource library.


Washington Program Combats Adult Depression With Peer Counselors Senior citizens have high rates of depression and other mental health challenges. To improve access and address fears, a university program trains other older adults to offer sessions. READ MORE


Washington, D.C., Mayor Shares AI Implementation Plans An order signed by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser today takes three specific actions to advance the government’s adoption of artificial intelligence. The plan aims to align the technology with the District’s core values. READ MORE


Washington’s $15 Tolls Hope to Reduce Traffic, Increase Revenue The state will increase its toll rates on March 1, with the highest toll rate being $15 on I-405 and Highway 167. Dynamic pricing will change the toll rate to a minimum of $1 as often as every five minutes. 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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