June 29, 2024

Selected links to items concerning government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending June 28, 2024

‘We Were Here Before Fort Worth’: The Struggle to Preserve Historic Black Settlements  North Texas settlements from the 19th century have been threatened for decades by urban development. A group of university professors and students are working to preserve what’s left. READ MORE


10 Mayors Transforming Their Cities with Tech-enabled Public Transit  These mayors saw transportation challenges and took action to implement new microtransit services from scratch. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION] LEARN MORE


AI Ethics Council to Begin Expert Briefings Next Month  The group, announced in December, is co-chaired by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, and Atlanta entrepreneur and nonprofit founder John Hope Bryant. Its first report is slated to arrive in December. READ MORE


Americans Love Their Cars, Even If It Means Sitting in Traffic  Despite the staying power of remote work, traffic congestion in the United States remains stubbornly high, with New York City ranking as the single most congested city in the world. READ MORE


Amid Labor Shortages, More Companies Pay Kids’ Way Through College
Nebraska’s Jump Start Scholarships program offers up to 100 percent tuition reimbursement along with signing bonuses for high school graduates to pursue degrees. READ MORE


An Interstate Effort to Address Healthcare Shortages  A dozen states have joined a compact to give physician assistants a universal license. It's not a complete solution for the shortage of primary care doctors, but it should help. READ MORE


Arkansas Raises Pay for New Teachers, Angering Veterans  Arkansas gave a significant pay boost to new hires, making it easier for rural districts to attract talent. This has caused resentment among experienced teachers who now feel unrewarded for their long service. READ MORE


Arlington Mayor: Microtransit Supported 3 Taylor Swift Concerts Flawlessly  Mayor Ross highlights how the Via-powered transit network manages major events, including Taylor Swift concerts.[CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION] LEARN MORE


As Budgets Tighten, States Weigh Whether to Tap Rainy Day Funds  Despite reserves bulging and revenues receding, many lawmakers remain reluctant to spend savings. READ MORE


Audit: Denver Lacks Comprehensive Approach to Cybersecurity The city’s approach can best be described as informal, the auditor said, particularly when it comes to oversight of independent city agencies or cultural facilities that operate on subnetworks. READ MORE


Best Practices For Strengthening Mobility and Connectivity With a Public-private Approach  For agencies focused on service delivery, getting the right connectivity approach in place is essential to meet current and future demands of public service. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY T-MOBILE FOR GOVERNMENT® ] LEARN MORE


Better Cities Start with Better Transit
Big city, small town, anywhere in between: Via-powered public transit brings everything within reach. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION] LEARN MORE

Birmingham Pilot Blossoms into a Lifeline to Jobs, Housing  Birmingham's microtransit boosts job access by 79%, delivering over 300K rides with Birmingham On-Demand. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION ] LEARN MORE


California Directs $45M in Grants to Central Coast Internet  The California Public Utilities Commission has awarded $45 million in grant funding to three regional Internet service providers, the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership announced recently. READ MORE


California Looks to AI for Health, Social Services Translation  Timing and cost are not yet clear, but the state is seeking bids from vendors to harness artificial intelligence to translate a range of documents and websites around “health and social services information, programs, benefits and services.” READ MORE


California Voters Prefer Term Limits for Local Offices  A new poll found that roughly three-quarters of registered voters would like to see term limits enacted or shortened for county supervisors, district attorneys and sheriffs. READ MORE


Car-free Living Becomes a Reality in this Utah Community  The region's new transit network connects downtown with the surrounding mountains, and residents are raving. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION] LEARN MORE


Carnegie Mellon Police Department Replaces LMR System  The university’s police department is switching to a P25-compliant digital simulcast system after experiencing difficulties with coverage when communicating via the existing system with other local agencies. READ MORE


Comcast Awards $1.5M Worth of Digital Equity Grants to Cities  The grants range between $75,000 and $150,000 each, and they are spread out between 10 different cities across the country, many of which are working to boost digital skills training. READ MORE


Craig Orgeron, Veteran Mississippi Tech Lead, Returns as CIO  The nine-year state CIO and leader of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, who stepped down in 2020, will return in both roles starting Monday. READ MORE


Create a Seat at the Policymaking Table for Young Americans  There are strong models for combating youthful disillusionment. San Francisco’s Youth Commission should be replicated across the country and a White House Office of Young Americans could address issues that affect everyone. READ MORE


Cybersecurity Exec Sentenced in Medical Center Hacking  An Atlanta cybersecurity executive who hacked the Gwinnett Medical Center’s computer system in an alleged attempt to boost business for his company has been sentenced to two years of home detention. READ MORE


Denver Lacks Comprehensive Approach to Cybersecurity, Auditor Finds  The city’s approach to cybersecurity risks is at best “informal,” according to Denver’s auditor. Mandatory training is often skipped and oversight of some facilities is lax. READ MORE


Education 'Miracle' Worker Seeks Success in a Second State  As Mississippi's schools chief, Carey Wright lifted test scores faster than any other state in the nation. Now she needs to show results in MarylandREAD MORE


Election Disputes Have Torn a California County Apart  A Shasta County supervisor was nearly recalled and the county’s longtime elections chief stepped down last month, with stress from death threats causing her heart problems. READ MORE


Enhance Public Sector Services with Generative AI  Take the new Microsoft Learn course to discover how AI can enhance productivity, improve cognition, and accelerate discovery in public sector organizations. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY MICROSOFT] START THE COURSE


Florida Supreme Court Allows Judicial Candidates to Campaign on Ideology
The decision bars judicial hopefuls from declaring partisan affiliation but not positions. “To describe oneself as a ‘conservative’ does not signal bias, pro or con, toward anyone or on any issue,” the court found. READ MORE


For Transit Agencies, On-Demand Services Can Fill the Gaps  Providers around Fort Worth, Texas, and the San Francisco Bay Area are using technology to expand on-demand options for riders. The availability can help connect first- and last-mile areas that lack service. READ MORE


Former Missouri CIO to Lead Des Moines, Iowa IT Department  Jeffrey Wann, the former CIO of Missouri, has returned to the public sector as leader of the IT department for the city of Des Moines, Iowa. Wann has more than 30 years of IT experience in the public and private sectors. READ MORE


Frederick County, Md., Appoints Ty Howard as Next CIO  Howard's past experience includes years of working in public-sector technology for several local governments throughout Arizona, including stints in Goodyear, Mesa and Gilbert. READ MORE


General Services Administration Launches AI-Focused Cohort  The federal oversight agency has launched its first cohort focused on artificial intelligence for its Presidential Innovation Fellows program, aiming to create a talent pipeline for AI in government. READ MORE


Get the Latest 5G Devices For the Front LinesGet the Latest 5G Devices For the Front Lines  Stay connected when it matters most with Verizon Frontline. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VERIZON] LEARN MORE


Governments Empower Citizens by Promoting Digital Rights  Two local governments have taken steps to make residents aware of their digital rights. Experts argue that cities actually have a responsibility to do so. READ MORE


Highway Projects in Minnesota Must Now Consider Climate Effects  A recently-expanded law covers more than 12,000 miles of road that account for 60 percent of all miles driven in the state. As part of its climate strategy, Minnesota hopes to reduce driving 20 percent by 2050. READ MORE


Hospitals stuck with unpaid bills will sometimes sell to debt collectors at a discount. The county’s investment could erase 100 times as much in medical debt. READ MORE


How 7 Cities Funded Their New Microtransit Services See the federal, state, and local grants that turn public transit dreams into reality. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION] LEARN MORE


How California Lawmakers Are Trying to Regulate AI  California legislators are rushing to address concerns through roughly 50 AI-related bills, many of which aim to place safeguards around the technology, which lawmakers say could cause societal harm. READ MORE


How Mayors Use Microtransit to Transform Their Communities  Better transit drives economic development and spurs opportunities. It's easier to launch than you think. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION] LEARN MORE


How to Navigate IT Challenges in Government  The public sector faces some unique challenges when it comes to IT management. Here’s what government IT organizations are doing to tackle problems and deliver a great user experience. READ MORE


How Will AI Impact Your Organization?  Introducing Generative AI to your workforce opens the door to new levels of productivity. Download Microsoft's CIO Guide on how to introduce and manage AI in your government organization. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY MICROSOFT] GET THE CIO STRATEGY GUIDE


Illinois Creates a New Department of Early Childhood  The new agency will combine programs that provide services for children under 6, which had primarily been divided among three different departments. READ MORE

Inside the Participatory Budget Project in Cambridge, Mass.  The city has launched a digital map so the public can track progress for community improvement projects that they approved through the city’s participatory budgeting process. READ MORE


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


Less Big Three, More Gen Z: Michigan’s Growth Strategy  Michigan is betting its future on a sought-after natural resource — people — guided by one person in particular. Hilary Doe, the first state chief growth officer anywhere, discusses what’s next. READ MORE


Medicaid Systems in Many States Plagued by Errors  Deloitte has Medicaid contracts with half the states worth at least $5 billion. Critics charge the company with errors that have delayed care. READ MORE

Michigan County Restores 80 Percent of Systems After Cyber Attack  The computer-aided dispatch system for Grand Traverse County's 911 service is also officially back online following a cyber attack that disabled the system and many other governmental services. READ MORE


Michigan Senate Votes to Apply Open Records Law to Governor and Legislators  Breaking a years-long impasse, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to increase transparency for the governor and lawmakers. The bill still offers them some loopholes, however. READ MORE


Navigating the CISO Role: Common Pitfalls for New Leaders  What are the top mistakes that I see new security leaders continue to make in 2024 as they start their CISO careers or take on new roles? How can these challenges be addressed? READ MORE


Need Access to Housing and Jobs? Jersey City Delivers a One-two Punch  Via Jersey City sets new microtransit standard: 2M rides, 40% to affordable housing, 150% job access boost. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION] LEARN MORE


New App Looks to Smooth Service Delivery to Reno’s Homeless  The application, DROPS, or Direct Resource Outreach and Placement Service, enables city staff to create and track digitized case files. It’s intended to streamline access to resources and avoid disconnections in the process. READ MORE


New Digital and IoT Solutions Are Transforming How Cities Connect and Adapt  To navigate the complex web of government operations and unlock city-wide IoT benefits, departments and agencies need the right mix of coverage and capability. [CONTENT PROVIDED BY T-MOBILE FOR GOVERNMENT®] LEARN MORE


New Haven, Conn., Notifies Hundreds That Personal Info Breached  Officials are notifying more than 400 people that personal information could have been compromised during a cyber attack that led to the city’s Board of Education being defrauded out of nearly $6 million. READ MORE


New Vermont Fee Will Help Pay for EV Charging Infrastructure  Vermont will charge $89 a year for registered electric vehicles, directing revenue to more charging stations. It’s among a handful of states with both incentives and fees for EV owners. READ MORE


New York City Gets More Aggressive About Building Inspections  The City Council passed a bill requiring “proactive” inspections for high-risk buildings, following two devastating collapses last year. READ MORE


Only True Independents Still Make Up Their Own Minds About Issues  Political independents — those who don’t vote consistently for one party or the other — have views that align with their lived experience. Democrats and Republicans? They just follow the party line. READ MORE


Opinion: Teachers Need the Support of Formal AI Policies  The founder of the Learning Engineering Virtual Institute makes the case for giving teachers structured guidance and ongoing support to experiment with artificial intelligence tools and incorporate what works. READ MORE


Oregon DMV Cuts Wait Times With New Lobby Management System  The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles is using a new real-time customer management system known as Next in Line in 59 field offices, helping to improve wait times for more than 3 million. READ MORE


Oregon Launches New Public Defender Division to Stem Crisis  A federal judge has ordered the state to release unrepresented defendants, with about 2,500 now out of custody as a result. The state is now hiring more attorneys rather than relying on contracts with private defenders. READ MORE


Outdoor Tech Firm Kalkomey Acquired by PE Firm Macquarie  Kalkomey, previously owned by a Boston-based private equity firm, sells outdoor certification and safety education tools to all U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Macquarie is increasingly active in gov tech deals. READ MORE


Permitting Tech Firm Clariti Raises $10M After Acquisition  The capital, which closely follows another fundraising round, will help the company’s ongoing integration of Camino Technologies. A Clariti executive explains what’s going on and what the future holds. READ MORE


Phishing Attack May Impact L.A. County Public Health Data  The February cyber attack may have compromised personal information belonging to roughly 200,000 clients, employees and others, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said last week. READ MORE


Schools and Law Enforcement Get on the Same Page  Critical Response Group has taken the floor plans of nearly 14,000 schools, updated them and integrated that data with local law enforcement systems, developing a solution that helps when seconds count. READ MORE


Seattle Libraries Network Outage Nears a Month A ransomware attack that has impacted the Seattle Public Library and its 27 branches continues to be felt nearly a month after its discovery May 25. E-book access has been restored, but computer networks remain down. READ MORE


Senate Proposal Would Set Government AI Procurement Standards  A bipartisan bill now under consideration would require each federal agency to create a chief artificial intelligence officer position. The measure would also require systems be graded on risk, from low risk to unacceptable. READ MORE


Senate Proposal Would Set Government AI Procurement Standards  A bipartisan bill now under consideration would require each federal agency to create a chief artificial intelligence officer position. The measure would also require systems be graded on risk, from low risk to unacceptable. READ MORE


Silicon Valley Takes a Bite Out of Congestion with Microtransit  City leaders improve first- and last-mile connectivity to get commuters out of private cars (and it worked). [CONTENT PROVIDED BY VIA TRANSPORTATION ] LEARN MORE


Small Businesses Aren’t Getting Enough Defense Work. Here’s How to Help Them.  State and local economic development organizations can ease barriers to defense contracting for local businesses, benefiting both companies and communities. READ MORE


States Falling Behind on Data? This Tool Aims to Help With AI rapidly transforming government, state leaders are scrambling to improve their data governance and management practices. The Beeck Center's new self-assessment tool offers a comprehensive checkup for states. READ MORE


States Need Stronger Identity Verification as Online Services Grow New research shows reliance on outdated identity verification methods. READ MORE


Supreme Court Limits Bribery Law Used in Chicago Corruption Cases  Justices found that a federal statute that bans bribery does not apply to “gratuities” paid to elected officials for past acts. The case pertained to a former mayor but has implications for charges against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. READ MORE


The 15-Minute City: Hope, Hype and Hostility The concept of having most needs met within walking distance remains beguiling as an urbanist vision, but it hasn’t gotten very far in the U.S. READ MORE


The Agency-by-Agency Strategy Government Needs for Its Workforce Crisis  In the midst of a “skills tsunami,” agencies and their workers understand the problems better than central HR offices do. And workforce planning should focus on local labor markets. READ MORE


The Factors Driving Housing Costs to All-Time Highs  Prices increased last year in 97 of the nation's 100 largest markets. Home insurance costs are soaring and rent is increasingly unaffordable, contributing to growth in homelessness. READ MORE


The Roads That Tear Communities Apart  Urban interstate highways displaced hundreds of thousands of households, destroyed neighborhoods and enforced racial segregation, and they continue to harm low-income communities. We need to ameliorate this tragic history. READ MORE


The Role Dark Money Plays in Local Races  Last year’s contest for Allegheny County, Pa. executive drew $1 million in funds from secretive groups that skirted disclosure requirements. READ MORE


Transforming and Scaling Your Optimal Resident Experience  This eBook provides an in-depth exploration of the role of constituent experience in community growth and development. It examines the challenges municipalities face in delivering seamless services and the importance of digitizing service delivery. DOWNLOAD


Traverse City, Mich., Still Grappling With Ransomware Fallout  After last week's ransomware attack shut down the network for Grand Traverse County and Traverse City operations, staff are continuing to implement "creative workarounds" to get government work done. READ MORE


Uncontested: The Surprising Political Invulnerability of Sheriffs  Sheriffs argue that being elected makes them directly accountable to voters, but the reality is that few face real competition. READ MORE


Updates to the CJIS Security Policy – What You Need to Know  Join our July 11 webinar to learn about the new baseline security standards and changes in the CJIS Security Policy.  REGISTER NOW


What’s New in Digital Equity: NTIA Reports on Minority Access Plus, the USDA is providing $25 million for rural broadband; Pennsylvania offers $20 million worth of devices; Raleigh, N.C., gets a state grant; and more. READ MORE


Who Should Be on Your State AI Task Force?  Washington state’s attorney general has announced the members of its Artificial Intelligence Task Force. Here's how Washington’s approach aligns with, and differs from, other state efforts. READ MORE


Why Taxpayers Get Stuck With the Bill for Nuclear Power Plants  Construction of nuclear plants is often only feasible thanks to public subsidies that mitigate risk. Then that risk gets shifted back onto government. 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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