Challenge-based procurement ‘just makes sense’

New York City is trying out a new approach to government procurement, whereby the city seeks solutions to its problems instead of prescribing them.

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.

New cyber range helps future tech workers wargame cybersecurity

Fulton-Montgomery Community College in New York will open its range to students this fall, making it the first in the nation to offer one on campus as part of its academic curriculum.

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.

These federal grants can help ease multiplying election threats

Cyber and physical threats are some of the biggest issues local election officials face ahead of the November presidential contest. Researchers said while there is a finite amount of funding, federal grants can help ease the pressure.

‘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.

Efforts to reform federal broadband subsidy gain traction

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for tweaks to the Affordable Connectivity Program’s rules in a bid to keep it from sunsetting this month.

A glimpse at the ‘human-machine partnership’

Lots has been said about the ways in which artificial intelligence may augment employees’ work. But first, local governments will need to successfully manage the learning curve.

FCC poised to require calls to the 988 suicide hotline be geolocated

Routing calls based on location versus a person’s area code is already standard for calls coming into 911. Elected officials and mental health advocates want 988 calls to be geolocated as well. A new FCC proposal would do that.

With only three weeks to go, lawmakers weigh ways to save federal internet subsidy

Congress is exploring several options to fund it. All face long odds of success despite widespread and bipartisan support for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Federal broadband subsidy cut amid fears over its future

The Affordable Connectivity Program will pay some households just $14 in May, down from $30. Unless Congress acts on a $7 billion extension bill, it will run out of money at the end of the month, plunging some families, supporters warn, into “digital darkness.”

This state’s ‘unsexy’ AI policy takes transparency to the next level

From AI “nutrition labels” to keeping an inventory of artificial intelligence tools, Connecticut is embracing sweeping rules that would “talk to people about why we're using it, how we're using it.”

How states can take a ‘quantum’ leap in economic development

Governments are eyeing quantum technology as a way to boost jobs and their economies. But adopting the hard to understand technology, one expert says, will require educating and upskilling your workforce.

Generative AI steps up as a ‘facilitator’

The Texas Department of Public Safety now uses a generative AI-powered chatbot to streamline procurement. And Polco is rolling out a tool to connect city leaders with survey data so they can see how they stack up against others.

FCC reinstates net neutrality rules

Commissioners voted 3-2 to revive net neutrality, which supporters said would prevent the internet from being intentionally blocked or slowed down. Opponents said the effort is unnecessary and violates the law.

National DELETE Act included in privacy discussions

California already has a law that gives consumers more control over the data held on them by data brokers. A federal effort would give Americans a central place to request it be deleted by all brokers.

Initial funding for digital equity plans is available. But how do states plan to use it?

Some have identified creative solutions to address affordability, digital skills and accessibility issues. But one approach—reliance on the federal internet subsidy that is about to expire—could force some states back to the drawing board.

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.

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.

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.

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