April 20, 2024

Selected links to items focusing on government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending April 19, 2024

 Click on the text in color to access the item posted on the Internet.


[Free Webinar] Connecting the Dots Between Your Strategic Plan and Your Budget A strategic plan is critical to help communities forward—but strategic action often falls flat. On April 30th, explore how connecting your budget with your plans helps drive strategic action. REGISTER NOW


70,000 Fewer Texas High School Students Applied for Federal Financial Aid The lower number in completed applications for aid has education advocates worried about a smaller fall enrollment this year. An overhaul of the form has caused delays and setbacks across the country. READ MORE


A Comeback on Housing for New York’s Governor? Gov. Kathy Hochul says she and lawmakers have a “conceptual agreement” that includes both tax breaks for developers and some new tenant protections. She failed to win approval of an ambitious housing package last year. READ MORE


A Digital Ads Tax Would Devastate Small Businesses Like Mine Affordable online advertisements are critical for thousands of brick-and-mortar businesses that need to reach out to national customers to survive. A Nebraska proposal and similar federal legislation would be a serious blow. READ MORE


Addressing America’s Housing Crisis: Lessons from Denmark Other countries have dealt with similar challenges in different ways. The Danish model has some elements state and local governments in the U.S. could adapt. READ MORE


ALPR Audit Takeaways: What We Learned About Policy Gaps As the use of automatic license plate readers grows, Government Technology reviewed public safety agencies’ audits and policies to determine progress. READ MORE


April is National Financial Literacy Month. New York Slate Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and New York State Education Commissioner Dr. Betty Rosa advocate teaching financial literacy in high schools to better prepare students for making important financial decisions in the future.  Read more


ASU+GSV 2024: K-12 Leaders Endorse Experiments With GenAI
Education leaders from across the U.S. led a webinar at the annual ASU+GSV Summit on Monday to explain how school districts have started to embrace generative AI, worrying less about cheating and more about learning. READ MORE


Bridging Communication Gaps in Civic Infrastructure Projects
From roads to bridges to drainage systems, a successful civic infrastructure project requires communication among all stakeholders. But communication challenges can arise throughout the life cycle of any infrastructure asset. READ MORE


Broadband Availability Relatively High in U.S., but Gaps Remain A new report by the Vernonburg Group finds access to broadband is not generally inhibited by demographic factors — but instead others like location and type of land. READ MORE


Build AI Apps with Low Code Empower anyone in your organization – from developers to decision-makers – to rapidly build AI solutions that increase productivity, agility, accessibility, and automation. Build Apps with AI


California Can’t Curb Homelessness? Look What Texas Cities Have Done.
Cities there and in other states are building more housing of all types. They’re approaching housing on a regional basis. And there are other steps California could be taking to prevent homelessness. READ MORE


California Faces a Crisis Over Lack of Court Recorders Last year, 332,000 hearings occurred without a court reporter or an electronic recording device in Los Angeles County Superior Court alone. Without a verbatim recording of what happened, defendants struggle to protect their rights. READ MORE


California’s Debt Continues to Grow After borrowing billions from the federal government to pay for unemployment during the pandemic, the state’s debt now stands at about $21 billion and growing. The state also currently accounts for about 20 percent of the nation’s unemployment. READ MORE


Camille Stewart Gloster Leaves Federal Cyber Role Stewart Gloster departs the Office of the National Cyber Director after two years serving as the deputy national cyber director for technology and ecosystem security. READ MORE


Chicago Separation from Illinois Referendum Reaches Ballot
In November, Madison County voters will be asked whether Cook County, which includes Chicago, should separate and form a new state. Madison County has a history of proposing non-binding referendums. READ MORE


Civics and Science: Contemporary Issues for Civil Democracy Dr. Robert A. Michaels' new book focuses on contemporary issues of critical importance to American democracy exploring the nexus between civics and science, identifying contemporary issues of critical importance for American democracy. For more information click HERE.


Colorado DMV Focuses on Accessibility, 'Omnichannel Experience' Officials have leveraged digital and mobile tools to make services more widely accessible to Coloradans regardless of location. Simultaneously, they are upgrading their IT infrastructure to more modern tools. READ MORE


Columbia, S.C., May Use AI on Garbage Trucks to Enforce Codes The technology works by using cameras to take pictures of the houses along garbage truck routes, and artificial intelligence is then used to analyze the pictures and detect code violations. READ MORE


Connecticut Bill Asks State to Choose AI Tool for Schools A proposed piece of legislation would have the Connecticut State Department of Education select an AI tool for educators and students to use, and create a professional learning program to teach them how to use it. READ MORE


Cyber Storm. Federal government will revise the National Cyber Incident Response Plan after testing it in mock response to a simulated major cyber incident on critical infrastructure, Federal News Network reports.


Deciphering Metrics: From NCAA Women’s Basketball to Cyber Trends Iowa’s Caitlin Clark clearly propelled NCAA women’s basketball viewership. But what do past numbers teach us about future expectations — in both basketball and cyber metrics? READ MORE


Eastern Cooke County, Texas, Will Get Fiber-Optic Broadband A pact between the county and Internet service provider Nortex will extend high-speed Internet to residents in the underserved communities of Callisburg, Woodbine and Oakridge. The network is slated to come online in late 2025. READ MORE


Economic Fallout from Baltimore’s Bridge Collapse Hits Home Maryland legislators are taking steps to protect workers and businesses affected by the port and highway closure. There are broader, indirect effects, however, that are creating additional uncertainty. READ MORE


Ed-Tech Development Evolves to Address Risks of AI As schools and universities make more use of artificial intelligence-driven tools, some ed-tech developers are seeking input from educators and implementing policies related to ethical use and data privacy. READ MORE


Education Sector in Constant State of Flux, Driven by AI Ed tech has been in a constant state of upheaval since 2020, first because of remote learning and now artificial intelligence. These technologies aren't going away, but they're also not solving all of education's problems. READ MORE


Empower Everyone in Your Organization with AI Low code can help democratize the development of AI solutions and bolster productivity across government sectors. Learn 5 ways CIOs can use AI and Low Code


Federal Dollars Seek to Reverse Decline in Head Start Enrollment
Last month, Washington increased funding for the preschool program by $275 million. Additional money for salaries may help address workforce shortages that have led to a steep decline in enrollment. READ MORE


Federal funding is complex. We make managing it smarter. The KPMG Smart Grants Platform suite is helping governments transform grants management for better outcomes. EXPLORE MORE


Fighting Every Wildfire Makes Big Fires More Extreme It also may harm forests’ ability to adapt to climate change and affect the way plants and animals interact with fire. READ MORE


Firefighter Numbers Continue to Shrink as Calls Increase Firefighter staffing shortages come in contrast to the increased amount of work on their plates. Calls now range from wildland fires to motor vehicle accidents to medical problems that would never have prompted a call years ago. READ MORE


Florida COVID Deaths at Nearly 2,300 Already This Year Only about 16 percent of Florida adults are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, compared to 23 percent nationally. Experts urge the elderly, who make up 91 percent of deaths in the state, to get vaccinated. READ MORE


Former Educator, Tech Leader Is Raleigh, N.C.’s New CISO Raleigh has hired Marina Kelly to lead its cybersecurity efforts as CISO. Her executive-level experience includes time at North Carolina State University, where she was an IT manager in its Office of IT. READ MORE


Four Stages of Communications for a Successful Government Customer Experience This guide outlines four critical communication stages that best enable government to communicate with customers and improve outreach, enrollment and engagement around public services. DOWNLOAD


From Nation’s Capital, Opexus Looks to Grow State, Local Business
The company rebranded and moved to Washington, D.C., last year to be closer to federal customers. But, as its CEO explains, non-federal markets remain important to the firm’s growth. READ MORE


Go Modular: How a Stackable Strategy Helps Governments Modernize Business Systems To optimize business systems and deliver value to taxpayers, governments should focus on a modular strategy that allows them to stack solutions and applications that work together seamlessly — without having to overhaul all their business systems at once. READ MORE


Google Will Remove Links to California News Sites The tech giant’s announcement is pushback against pending legislation that would require companies such as Google to pay a “journalism usage fee” when they sell ads next to new content. READ MORE


High Schoolers Train to Become EMTs Amid Shortage Public schools in Chicopee, Mass., are working with a local ambulance company to train students. They can be qualified as emergency medical techs by the time they graduate. READ MORE


How Inclusive Content Can Increase Resident Engagement 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 NOW


How to Protect Water Systems Against Cyber Attack Recent events highlight the fact that water systems are targets for cyber attacks. There are ways of strengthening defenses at little to no cost, but more needs to be done to implement them. READ MORE


How to Tackle Cyber Crime Ecosystems, Teen Extortionists At an event held by the Institute for Security and Technology, experts discussed why simply arresting ransomware developers isn’t enough to effectively combat this cybersecurity problem. READ MORE


Insights for Faster Incident Response Transit agencies are flooded with real-time data from social media feeds, sensor alerts and more. Event detection platforms help them find the most relevant information and take action. DOWNLOAD


Keeping First Responders Safe: The Latest Tools and Strategies This paper from Verizon details how network upgrades, additional data and artificial intelligence applications are set to change how agencies respond to emergencies and keep first responders safe. DOWNLOAD


L.A. County to Be Net Zero by 2045 Under Updated Climate Plan The County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new climate action plan on Tuesday that will set updated standards for phasing out oil and gas production, construction of zero-carbon buildings and reducing driving trips. READ MORE


Lack of ITIL and Automation Remain Public-Sector Challenges A study found public-sector IT struggles with automation and ITIL. Learn how to tackle these challenges and gain insights into what other public-sector IT leaders are doing to solve these problems. READ MORE


Lawmakers advanced data privacy legislation that supporters say would be unique in the U.S. in protecting individual privacy and limiting the type of digital information companies can collect and maintain. READ MORE


Local Officials in Michigan Team for Election Security Prep Sponsored by the Michigan Secretary of State's Office, the closed-session event took place at the Michigan Works office in Traverse City, with more sessions planned elsewhere in the coming weeks. READ MORE


Many Migrant Children Evicted from Shelters Also Left School Almost 700 children who were evicted from New York City’s migrant shelters on Jan. 9 are no longer enrolled in the city’s school system. Many educators are worried about how this will impact those students’ futures. READ MORE


Medicaid, SNAP Could Become Key Cyber Attack Targets A new report predicts cyber attackers may increasingly target federal services that support residents’ basic needs, aiming to disrupt U.S. society, spark panic and foment distrust in government. READ MORE


Modernizing Spaces for a Hybrid Workforce Wake County, the largest county in North Carolina at over 1 million residents, is home to North Carolina State University as well as Raleigh, the state capital. The county is known for its innovative spirit and has been modernizing to meet the increasing demand for remote work. The county recognized the need for a more seamless approach to collaboration between its in-office and remote teams. DOWNLOAD


New Mexico Laboratory Unveils Supercomputer to Advance AI Los Alamos National Laboratory has unveiled its newest supercomputer, which officials say will accelerate how they integrate artificial intelligence into both national security work and scientific research. READ MORE


New Ransomware Actor Threatens Change Healthcare Change Healthcare has reportedly already paid off one set of cyber attackers, but now a second group is claiming that it has stolen data, too. READ MORE


New Vermont CISO Has Extensive Federal, Private-Sector Resume John Toney, the new chief information security officer for the state of Vermont, replaces Scott Carbee, who stepped down in August to join the University of Vermont as ISO. Toney spent more than a decade at the U.S. Secret Service. READ MORE


Nine Website Design Techniques to Help Residents Find Information in Two Clicks CivicPlus's 2-click concept to and build trust within your community by ensuring they can find the information they need in the most efficient way possible. DOWNLOAD NOW


North Dakota Initiative to Offer Cybersecurity for Hospitals The North Dakota Hospital Association is working with a cybersecurity company and an insurance firm to offer affordable services to hospitals and health-care organizations statewide. It comes as cyber attacks on health-care groups are rising. READ MORE


One City's Quest to Rein in Reckless Driving City and state leaders in the Milwaukee area are addressing a spike in reckless driving in a variety of ways, from increasing penalties to redesigning streets. The city has a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2037. READ MORE


Pharmacists' Crucial Role in Getting Vaccines into Arms Pharmacists are convenient, accessible and trusted. Improving reimbursements and making permanent the authority they were given for the pandemic will increase immunization rates and save lives. READ MORE


Piercing the Veil on the Obscure and Powerful Politicians Who Set the Rates for What Floridians Pay for Energy The five members of Florida’s Public Service Commission have great sway over what sources energy utilities use to generate electricity and how much Floridians must pay for their power. READ MORE


Public Health's Strategy to Protect Against Bird Flu Detection of avian flu in dairy cows and one sick worker don’t add up to imminent danger for lots of people. But public health officials say the threat shouldn't be taken lightly. READ MORE


Public Safety Firm Versaterm Buys ICS, Expanding ‘Ecosystem’ The Canada-based gov tech supplier has acquired a company that sells CAD, RMS and other tools for first responders and public safety agencies. Versaterm’s CEO explains the thinking behind his company’s latest deal. READ MORE


Resisting the Campaign for Safer Streets Reducing traffic deaths is a compelling proposition, but it gets complicated when trying to make it so. READ MORE


Robots Step in Amid Rising Labor Costs and Worker Shortages Manufacturing companies are frequently turning to robotics in response to labor shortages, increased strike risks and the need for flexibility with the transition to electric vehicles. READ MORE


Scooters Cluttering the Sidewalk? Corral Them New research from the Urbanism Next Center shows e-scooter parking areas need to be spaced within a few hundred meters of each other to see the highest use and to help declutter sidewalks. READ MORE


Smart Cities and Cybersecurity: Protecting Citizens from Malicious Attacks Smart cities and cybersecurity are inseparable. When you start integrating the Internet of Things with infrastructure, a city cyber attack is, unfortunately, inevitable. But that doesn't mean it has to be successful. READ MORE


SoCal Commuter Rail System Gets $1.3M for AI-Powered Security The Metrolink network, which connects six Southern California counties, has received $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its mission: to develop security with artificial intelligence to detect hazards on tracks. READ MORE


Stanford Report Compares AI to Human Intelligence The report shows just how much the possibilities of AI, and very real worries, have come to the fore since OpenAI launched its ChatGPT chatbot that sent the artificial intelligence industry into overdrive. READ MORE


Taking EMS Challenges to Capitol Hill This briefing from Verizon offers updates on key legislation, policy news and advocacy initiatives that seek to improve the delivery of prehospital care. DOWNLOAD


Texas to Implement New Teacher Residency Program The state hopes that the training program will better prepare teachers with real classroom experience — and improve recruitment and retainment. Roughly one in three teachers hired in Texas in the 2024 academic year were uncertified. READ MORE


The Next-Gen Emergency Vehicle Preemption technology provides first responders the ability to alter traffic lights on a complete route to an event, not just one light at a time. READ MORE


The Obsolete Zoning Laws That Leave Downtowns Stagnant Seattle’s mayor wants to revive the city center by opening much of it to businesses that have long been forbidden. It’s a move toward more lenient zoning that has been gathering steam in other places. READ MORE


The States Where Pro-Growth Policies Rule Federal tax cuts may be in jeopardy, but some states are reducing the tax burdens on their citizens and businesses. It’s not surprising that millions are moving to states with robust free-market policies — and leaving those that don’t have them. READ MORE


The Surprising Political Difficulty of Promoting Infrastructure Safety For politicians, there are lots of incentives in favor of new construction projects but not much for maintenance. That can lead to deadly results, as the bridge collapse in Baltimore demonstrated. READ MORE


Tuscaloosa, Ala., Is Among the Worst Cities for Fraud The Alabama city leads the nation with a 235.3 percent increase in reported fraud cases between 2019 and 2023. The city also has 296.6 cases of reported credit card fraud per 100,000 residents. READ MORE


University of Arizona Will Add AI Degree Program The university will add two academic programs, artificial intelligence and neuroscience, and revise one for fall 2024, pending approval by the state Board of Regents. READ MORE


Unlike many competitors, ChargerHelp trains workers for network operations and field repair, with a focus on people and communities long overlooked during earlier periods of technological change. READ MORE


Using AI to Get the Most Out of Your Data This whitepaper details how organizations can use AI to make better use of data. DOWNLOAD


Virginia Governor’s Adviser Named Chief Transformation Officer Longtime business leader Robert Ward, senior adviser to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin since 2023, has been appointed to help state officials in realizing change and modernization. READ MORE


Wake County, the largest county in North Carolina at over 1 million residents, is home to North Carolina State University as well as Raleigh, the state capital. The county is known for its innovative spirit and has been modernizing to meet the increasing demand for remote work. The county recognized the need for a more seamless approach to collaboration between its in-office and remote teams.


Webinar: K-12 Schools Move to Cloud to Enhance Data Security At an Education Week webinar, panelists from the cloud software provider Softdocs said schools can enhance data security by moving away from on-premise data management and using third-party cybersecurity expertise. READ MORE


Website Wellness: Strategies & Tool Selection This fact sheet from CivicPlus covers different approaches for addressing website challenges and how to select the most suitable tools for optimal website health. DOWNLOAD



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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