Town turns to text messaging to boost community engagement

Andover, Massachusetts, operates under the town meeting system. Amid abysmal meeting attendance, officials turned to SMS to manage its meetings and various initiatives.

Meet Emma, Amarillo’s AI assistant and ‘digital human’

The Texas city’s generative artificial intelligence assistant will assist residents through voice conversations in multiple languages.

Inside the Department of Labor’s collaboration with New Jersey to overhaul unemployment programs

A new application for unemployment claims in the Garden State marks the result of a years-long federal effort to help states modernize their jobless aid efforts.

Colorado becomes first state with sweeping artificial intelligence regulations

The law attempts to mitigate algorithmic discrimination in AI systems that make consequential decisions related to hiring, banking and housing.

Prioritization key to prep for website accessibility rule

Now that the Department of Justice has issued a final rule to make government websites accessible for people with disabilities, states and localities have to start implementing it. Here’s how.

To meet class size mandate, officials look to virtual learning

To meet a new state mandate capping K-12 class sizes, New York City is considering offering remote instruction, a practice that could free up building space and allow students to take electives and AP classes from teachers on other campuses.

‘Mission Impossible’ masks, bad data and immature tech dog age verification for social media

Another state signed a law restricting minors’ use of the platforms. But the continued growth in technology as well as “low-tech fraud” could make enforcement more difficult.

Florida’s school safety dashboard helps parents and teachers address root causes of misbehavior

COMMENTARY | School leaders can use the dashboard to identify areas of concern in their own school—such as an increasing pattern of fights—and then develop evidence-based solutions and training to address the issues.

The surging demand for data is guzzling Virginia’s water

The commonwealth is home to the data center capital of the world. Can it handle AI's thirst?

Don’t pull the plug on internet access for 23M families

COMMENTARY | No family should be forced to choose between one essential and another. And they don’t have to, as long as Congress acts to renew the Affordable Connectivity Program.

States get streamlined access to Treasury’s Do Not Pay system for unemployment

The move comes as federal agencies work with states to combat the rise in jobless aid fraud following the pandemic.

Mobile hunting, fishing licenses streamline conservation management

Minnesota’s new system will replace a paper-based license purchase and harvest registration process, saving staff time and improving customer service.

4 lessons from the federal open records process

COMMENTARY | State and local governments can take a page from the federal government’s FOIA playbook to boost their own efficiency and transparency.

California looks to AI to automate health insurance enrollment

The state will use artificial intelligence after a pilot found it significantly sped up processing times.

Feds move to make gov websites more accessible to people with disabilities

It’s the first time the federal government has ever issued rules clarifying how the more than 30-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act applies online. But the new rules come with a hefty price tag for state and local governments.

New FCC broadband standard increases the number of ‘underserved’ households in America

An estimated 22 million Americans still lack home broadband access, according to a new report. But that number could be higher after the FCC increased the definition of what constitutes broadband.

Without federal internet subsidies, state efforts to offer low-cost broadband could be impacted

The end of the Affordable Connectivity Program will not only impact the 23 million households participating, but also those who live in areas where broadband is being built out.

For effective community research, get the right people at the table

When people with lived experience participate in a research project’s design, data collection and analysis, they can increase engagement, build trust and lay the groundwork for system-level change.

New Florida law bans kids under 14 from social media

It is the latest in a series of efforts by states to regulate social media in a way that protects minors and stands up to legal challenges. But opponents say Florida’s law still runs afoul of the First Amendment.

23M low-income households appear set to lose internet subsides

Congressional leaders did not include funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program in its final six spending bills.

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