June 08, 2024

Selected links to items concerning government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending June 7, 2024

2024 State of Local Government Survey Results GOVTECH TODAY recently surveyed over 500 local government leaders and if there’s one thing that the results tell us, it’s that the need to do more with less is greater than ever. Download this year’s annual survey to see what the biggest opportunities and obstacles facing the public sector are. DOWNLOAD THE SURVEY

A Wake-Up Call on Digital Experience and Accessibility  Research shows agency websites have more barriers than public officials may think. This paper explains how agencies can ensure equity for individuals with disabilities and improve usability for all constituents. DOWNLOAD

Ahead of Election, State, Federal Lawmakers Race to Rein in AI From robocalls to deepfakes, misuse of artificial intelligence threatens to play a significant role in the upcoming presidential election. Legislation from lawmakers nationwide proposes to keep it in check. READ MORE 

AI at Work Is Here. Now Comes the Hard Part 2024 is the year AI at work gets real. How are you integrating AI into your government organization? Read the 2024 Work Trend Index Annual Report >

Are You Ready for the New Era of Work? 89% of employees say AI tools empower them to feel more fulfilled and focus on what matters at work. Learn how AI tools can empower your organization. Get the e-Book >

Baltimore's Main Port Channel May Reopen Next Week The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to have the Port of Baltimore’s main channel fully open by June 10. To meet the deadline, large pieces of the Key Bridge’s steel truss must be removed from the waterway to ensure boat safety. READ MORE

California Working on ‘Responsible Adoption’ of Generative AI Tech leaders are being deliberate about the adoption of generative artificial intelligence and “trying to not follow the rush,” Government Operations Agency Secretary Amy Tong told a state commission. READ MORE

Can AI Help Agencies Save Money on Traffic Studies? As agencies get more comfortable with new ways of analyzing data, UrbanLogiq is betting officials will prefer AI-powered tools over typical traffic-counting methods. Already one city has started using such a product. READ MORE 

Can the Grid Keep Up With AI and Data Demands? A new order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeks to prod longer-term planning to address growing power needs and the transition to renewables. READ MORE

Data and AI: Reinventing Government Services and Operations Numerous pilot projects in recent years have proven the value of artificial intelligence (AI) in government and paved the way for wider adoption. At the same time, state and local agencies are managing ever-growing volumes of data, with the intention of making more informed decisions and improving operations and services. READ MORE

Deepfakes Dominate Early Attempts to Regulate AI Colorado has passed the nation’s most ambitious AI regulatory law. In other states, lawmakers are regulating fake likenesses involving porn, politics and celebrities. READ MORE

Deploying Human-Centric Security for Government Technical controls like firewalls, malware detection and access restrictions are not sufficient to detect and prevent today's sophisticated cyberattacks. Organizations must incorporate human-centric security. DOWNLOAD

Engagement Tech Firm CitizenLab Rebrands as Go Vocal The move comes as the gov tech company seeks a greater profile in the marketplace, eyes more U.S. growth and plans to expand its AI-backed offerings. The CEO explains how the change came about. READ MORE 

Familiar Issues Confront Congress in Debate on AI in Elections Members of Congress are finding the debate over controlling artificial intelligence touches on matters like freedom of speech, and balancing its ability to innovate with its potential for deception and fraud. 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.

Good vs. Risk in Value-Based AI: The ‘Challenge of Our Time’ Using artificial intelligence from a value-based perspective was a major theme during the 2024 Code for America annual summit. The organization also announced its new AI Studio. READ MORE

Harnessing the Sun to Power Your Mission The surge in onsite solar adoption by local governments reduces energy costs, enhances sustainability, and offers educational and economic benefits amid new federal funding opportunities. EMPOWER LOCAL ENERGY

How Nashville Learned to Share Data Across Agencies Enterprise-wide systems enable efficiency and community engagement. With its application of GIS, the city-county government is showing the value of that approach. READ MORE 

How the 'Most Significant Advancement in Government Transparency’ Came About The passage of the federal DATA Act 10 years ago and its implementation provide a road map for bipartisan reform at every level of government. READ MORE

How the Texas Stock Exchange Could Shape Dallas’ Future A national stock exchange headquartered in downtown Dallas could drive more company relocations and jobs to the city and state. But many still wonder if it can compete against established exchanges. READ MORE

Lawmakers Want More Government Workers Back in the Office Most government employees at the state and local level have returned to their respective offices at least part time, but some legislators and other officials want to make in-person work mandatory. READ MORE

Legal Woes, Constitutional Challenges: The Trouble With TikTok Eric Goldman, associate dean of research at Santa Clara University School of Law, assesses concerns around the impending TikTok ban or buyout. It faces significant First Amendment challenges, he said. READ MORE

Legalizing Casinos a Longshot for Texas Lawmakers in 2025 Last year, the state House fell a few votes short of advancing a constitutional amendment to allow the construction of eight destination resort casinos. It is unlikely that the state Senate will have enough votes to pass the measure next session. READ MORE

Local Government Guide to Managing Grants This guide takes a deep dive into six significant barriers to successful grant management in local governments. It outlines best practices to address each and features insightful resources to help you implement solutions. DOWNLOAD

Mayor Says Secretary of State Violated Supreme Court Order Mayor Quinton Lucas alleges that Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft moved a ballot measure to force Kansas City to pay more for its police to a different date than the top state court ordered. READ MORE

Minnesota Bill Signing Extends Runway for Flying Cars Legislation recently signed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz enables the operation of hybrid car-airplane vehicles on state roads and airstrips. The state is the second in recent years to enact such a law. READ MORE

Navigating Email: From Spam Wars to Trusted Relationships Some call it spam. Others call it marketing. Recipients want it to stop, while senders are looking to perfect their “art.” But both sides agree on one thing: Email communication is still broken in 2024. READ MORE

New Jersey Co-Creates AI Strategy With Public-Sector Staff To build an ethical framework for AI in state government, New Jersey is surveying its employees to engage them in the process of creating a system that uses AI to enhance services and empower workers. READ MORE

NLC Joins CivStart’s Project to Connect Govt With Tech The CivStart Innovation Hub will have the backing of the advocacy group for municipal governments across the country, as it seeks to help those jurisdictions better understand startups and their technology. READ MORE

Oregon Mayor Builds Homeless Shelter at No Cost to the City Lacey Beaty came into office as mayor of Beaverton, Ore., with less power than her predecessor. That hasn’t stopped her from taking on the city’s biggest issue. READ MORE

Privacy Nonprofit Unveils Center for Artificial Intelligence The Future of Privacy Forum has launched its new Center for Artificial Intelligence. It aims to help serve policymakers, companies and other organizations in creating AI governance strategies. READ MORE


Seeing Promise in Data, Utah to Expand Connected Vehicle Work The Utah Department of Transportation will continue its partnership with Panasonic on deploying connected vehicle technology. It intends to add more vehicles to the project and make collected data actionable. READ MORE


Set Targets, Determine KPIs, and Share Progress If you’re working on–and struggling with–setting your organization’s wildly important goals, you’re not alone. Goal setting can be hard. How do you ensure goals are motivating and not overwhelming? Download our eBook to learn best practices for setting goals that motivate teams and leave an impact. DOWNLOAD eBOOK

Seven AGs Sign Amicus Brief, Challenging Ohio Voting Law Attorneys general from Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C., are challenging a 2022 Ohio voting law, alleging it creates unnecessary obstacles to casting a ballot. READ MORE

Solar Impact: Harness the Sun to Power Your Mission Onsite solar panel installations by local governments can cut costs, enhance sustainability, and tap into federal funds. LEARN MORE NOW

States Should Think Beyond Mobile Drivers' Licenses for Digital Identity Other forms of digital ID will also be important for serving constituents online and preventing fraud. READ MORE

Strengthening Digital Identity and Preventing Fraud New research from the Center for Digital Government shows most people prefer to interact with state agencies online. But constituents also are concerned about identity fraud resulting from these transactions, and verifying their digital identity is harder than it should be. This paper offers practical strategies for government leaders and policymakers to simplify digital identity verification and crack down on identity fraud. DOWNLOAD

Teachers Are Using AI to Grade Papers. But Who’s Grading the AI? California schools are using more chatbots, and teachers are using them to grade papers and give students feedback. Educators are split on the technology’s efficacy. READ MORE

Ten Features to Look for in Cost Allocation Plan (CAP) Software This paper covers the top ten features to look for in modern cost allocation software. DOWNLOAD

The Power of Simple for Government Read this brief to find out how applying cloud operating principles and practices to on-premises network infrastructure can help agencies manage complex IT environments. DOWNLOAD

The Role Tribes Need for Protecting Sacred Lands A draft plan for co-management of Bears Ears National Monument comes after years of advocacy from native organizations, but federal policies don’t go far enough. Co-stewardship of public lands is Indigenous peoples’ inherent right. READ MORE

The Upside of a Little Progressive Pension Paternalism With most public retirement systems seeing improved actuarial funding levels, there’s an opportunity to offer options that could make government compensation more competitive. But any impetus for change should come from pragmatic public employers, not partisans or lobbyists. READ MORE

The Worst Way to Do Infrastructure Projects Federal mandates that steer contracts to unionized companies worsen the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage. Taxpayers lose when responsible contractors that do a quality job at the best price are frozen out. READ MORE

Three Principles for Bridging Rural Health and Prosperity The two are intertwined, yet too often they aren’t viewed that way. Aligning them is a strategy for creating strong rural and Native communities. READ MORE

Three South Dakota Counties May Require Hand-Counting Ballots Auditors warn of financial consequences ahead of the June 4 primary election if Gregory, Haakon and Tripp counties ban the use of tabulator machines in future elections. READ MORE

Three Steps for Getting Started with AI Chatbots Many state and local agencies use chatbots, but fewer governments have unlocked the full potential of the technology with artificial intelligence (AI). This thought leadership paper details three steps your agency can take to kickstart an AI chatbot program. Real-world government examples show how AI chatbots can transform service delivery for constituents and improve efficiency for public sector employees. DOWNLOAD

Trolls and Their Tolls on Social Media Communicators This eBook from CivicPlus offers strategies for dealing with online trolls and guidance on how social media communicators can keep the peace on their websites without restricting free expression and meaningful and productive conversations. DOWNLOAD

Virginia Beach Is Still Healing from Its 2019 Mass Shooting On May 31, 2019, a city engineer shot and killed 12 people and injured five others before being fatally shot by the police. Five years later, the community is still healing and implementing new systems to prevent violence. READ MORE

Washington, D.C., Bloomington, Ind., Work With Lime on Mobility The two cities submitted the winning applications for the 2024 Mobility Insights Competition, organized by Lime and the League of American Bicyclists. The municipalities can now use Lime’s data to address mobility issues. READ MORE

West Virginia Water Utilities Seek Stronger Cybersecurity An association representing 28 water utilities is concerned the state’s Public Service Commission's recent cyber threat vulnerability assessment order may inadvertently pose threats to their cybersecurity. READ MORE

What Happens When There Aren’t Enough California Inmates to Fight Wildfire? California has long relied on its prison population to battle wildfires. But a steady decline in the state’s incarcerated population and a $45 billion budget shortfall has left the state with gaps when it comes to wildfire response. READ MORE

Why Washington Can’t Get Out of the Disaster Relief Business Some conservatives want Washington to stay out of disaster zones, leaving the job to states and localities, along with private insurance. This won’t fly politically or practically. 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.
NYPPL Blogger 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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