Author Archive

Kate Elizabeth Queram

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a staff correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty. She most recently covered state and local government for the News & Record, a daily newspaper in Greensboro, N.C. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Management

Why are so Many Workers Moving Across State Lines?

In a report, researchers say people want to live in less populated areas with lower housing costs, potentially spreading higher-income families across the U.S.

Management

The 'Fingerprints of Climate Change' Are Visible in New Climate Normals, NOAA Says

The 30-year data set, to be released May 4, shows while some U.S. regions are growing warmer, others have cooler average temperatures.

Public Safety

Local Jail Operating Costs Rose by $25 Billion in Last 40 Years

But the coronavirus has ushered in creative lower-cost alternative jail programs that could last long after the pandemic, local leaders say.

Management

With New Tourism Campaign, Alaska Pleads ‘Don’t Forget About Us’

Alaska launched a national campaign to attract tourists back, offering free vaccinations at that state’s major airports as an incentive.

Tech & Data

Are Plastic Driver's Licenses Headed For the Dumpster?

Utah is one of nearly two dozen states exploring digital driver’s licenses, stored on smartphones, that state officials say come with enhanced privacy and control.

Management

Bestiality is Legal in Four States. Two Are Trying to Change That.

Lawmakers in Hawaii and Wyoming have proposed measures to formally outlaw sexual abuse of animals, a crime that animal rights advocates say is often hidden in plain sight.

Health & Human Services

Connecticut Using Canvassing, ‘Virtual House Parties’ to Coax Black and Latino Residents to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine

The $2.9 million initiative funded by the federal government will focus on knocking on doors through Labor Day to boost vaccination rates among these groups.

Health & Human Services

How Two States Resolved Problems with PrepMod’s Vaccine Management System

Virginia and Maryland both experienced issues with vaccine appointment link sharing. Virginia opted to develop its own vaccine management platform, while Maryland worked with the vendor.

Management

Colorado Bill Would Give Rape, Sexual Assault Survivors Evidence Updates

The legislation, if passed, would allow victims to receive updates on the status of their test kits when the results are received, among other things.

Health & Human Services

Delaware Bill Would Require Menstruation Products In Public School Bathrooms

The one-time cost to each school would be about $30,000 to install dispensers and $77,000 a year to keep them filled.

Management

U.S. Unemployment Claims Fall to Under 700,000, Lowest Since Pandemic

More than 18.9 million people still are collecting benefits, but economists are confident hiring will pick up.

Management

The 'New Normal': A Survey of Covid's Lasting Effects for Localities

A new survey is asking local government staff and officials how Covid has changed their work—and what might happen next.

Infrastructure

Biden Administration Preparing $3 Trillion Infrastructure and Jobs Plan, Reports Say

The president is expected to receive the plan this week, according to reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Public Safety

Miami Beach Extends Curfew, State of Emergency as Visitors Swamp South Florida

City officials called an emergency meeting Sunday in Miami Beach to discuss mitigation measures for throngs of unruly gatherers after a week of arrests, fights and crowd-control headaches.

Tech & Data

Utah Poised to Block Porn on Smartphones

The bill, awaiting a signature from Gov. Spencer Cox, would require smartphones and tablets in the state to automatically enable filters for content deemed "harmful to minors."

Health & Human Services

How One County Helps Low-Income Homeowners Rehab Their Houses

James City County, Virginia tapped federal housing dollars to fund repairs and rebuilding projects that make homes safe and habitable. "Nothing is more affordable than the house you already have," notes a local official.

Management

States Consider 'Do-Over Years' for Students Affected by the Pandemic

Some policies allow students an extra year to participate in both academics and athletics, other measures focus entirely on sports.

Infrastructure

The Mayor on a Mission to Bring a RoboCop Statue to His City

Mike Wiza, mayor of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, wants to score an 11-foot-tall replica of the cyborg police officer from the 1980s action film. But if that effort fails, the city might see about making its own—possibly bigger—version.

Health & Human Services

Florida Officials to Spring Breakers: Please Try to Not Spread Covid Everywhere

City and county leaders in Florida, prohibited from enforcing local mask mandates, are relying largely on public messaging to keep visitors in line.

Management

State and Federal Wildlife Officials Would Like You to Please Destroy Your Moss Balls

Invasive zebra mussels have been found in aquarium moss balls in at least 21 states. Wildlife officials say the balls must be destroyed to prevent the fast-multiplying mollusk from spreading.