Author Archive

Chris Teale

Chris Teale
Chris Teale is a staff reporter for Route Fifty, where he covers state and local government technology.
Cybersecurity

National data privacy standard would preempt state efforts

A bill in Congress would supersede more than a dozen state laws. While most support a national standard, some state leaders and experts worry the legislation’s preemption provisions are too prescriptive.

Management

States are banning private funding of elections. Some worry about unintended consequences.

Wisconsin voters approved a ballot measure banning such cash infusions earlier this month. Proponents of the bans say they limit interference in elections, but opponents say chronically underfunded elections offices need help.

Digital Government

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.

Emerging Tech

‘Artificial intelligence is not innovation,’ it’s a tool. How governments use it will vary.

Some state and local governments may embrace AI wholly, while others may take a more measured approach. Either way, experts said, the competition to be first is moot.

Cybersecurity

Lessons learned from whole-of-state cybersecurity efforts

More than two years into the federal cybersecurity grant program, state and local tech leaders say information sharing between the different levels of government is the most important aspect of the approach.

Cybersecurity

How hurricane response helped one state’s cyber preparedness

Local governments in Louisiana are used to having the National Guard come in during natural disasters. Today, they are growing used to the guard coming in during a cyberattack, too.

Digital Government

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.

Workforce

Government employees need hands-on, standardized AI training

Having a properly defined list of terms helps get everybody on the same page, as does baseline training for every employee.

Emerging Tech

Election laws fighting AI deepfakes need to be targeted and adaptable, report says

The technology’s use in voter suppression cannot be underestimated, according to a report from the progressive group NewDEAL. It recommends how states can craft laws to combat the threat.

Workforce

Why so many election officials are leaving

Some states are seeing high rates of turnover among local election officials, according to new research. It’s a troublesome trend that may have a silver lining.

Digital Government

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.

Cybersecurity

Survey: Few states have ‘established’ privacy program

As states race to protect Americans’ data, the number of chief privacy officers has increased in state government. Still, a majority reported in a recent survey that they are building their programs.

Cybersecurity

States warned of ‘recent and ongoing’ cyber threats to critical infrastructure

The EPA and White House acknowledged water systems and other utilities “often lack the resources” to adopt rigorous cybersecurity measures. They want to partner to bolster the current efforts of state and local governments.

Cybersecurity

Schools are vulnerable to breaches—and hackers know it

Schools face unique challenges in shoring up their cyber defenses. Just ask Baltimore County Public Schools. It suffered a successful attack in 2020, and while its cyber protection has improved, it still faces roadblocks.

Cybersecurity

As cyber grant program hits the halfway mark, feds laud states’ progress

Two years into the $1 billion program, state and local governments are better prepared for cyber attacks. But funding remains an obstacle as under-resourced cybersecurity budgets struggle to keep up with mounting threats.

Management

Longtime state senator announces plans to retire

In an interview from earlier this year, Washington’s Karen Keiser discussed her nearly 30-year career and how to affect change in state legislatures.

Digital Government

Supreme Court clarifies when public officials can block citizens on social media

The Supreme Court unanimously found in a pair of cases that whether a government official can block a constituent on their personal social media account hinges on if a post is a state action or is private conduct.

Management

There are 100,000 fewer Election Day polling places in 2024

A major Supreme Court decision, a pandemic and localized issues have all conspired to reduce the number of physical voting locations. Advocates say that’s bad for democracy.

Finance

From paper to portal: How one city brought tax filings online

Under an aggressive modernization strategy, Columbus, Ohio, has built a one-stop shop for filing income tax returns.

Cybersecurity

17 million cyberattacks a day: How Oklahoma stops 99% of them

In a recent interview, the state’s CISO talks about zero trust, the upside to COVID and triaging the state’s aging tech infrastructure.