A bill creating the Office of Information Technology was signed by Gov. Don Siegelman in late May. The office would administer necessary programs and services for the operation and management of a program for specifically providing the children of Alabama citizens with technology in the public schools and public institutions of higher education.
Gov. Tony Knowles signed a bill into law helping Alaska Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) grants keep pace with inflation. HB 209 increases the size of smaller grants to which the foundation must give at least half of its endowment income from $100,000 or less to $200,000 or less. The legislation also increases the allowable foundation grant for the Kodiak Launch Complex from $5 million to $11 million. ASTF has already granted the complex $5 million, so this allows another $5 million to complete construction and $1 million for marketing and development over the next three years. The complex launched its first rocket last year, a military test missile.
The state Criminal Justice Commission and the Office of the Courts established the Arizona Criminal Justice Data Integration Web site www.supreme.state.az.us
/cot/cji/documents.htm to share the progress of criminal justice agencies in integrating information systems.
The Interdistrict Magnet School Program in the Little Rock area offers a Web site at which parents can review the options and requirements for elementary, secondary and high schools in three districts that offer special programs in such areas as math, science, the arts and communications. A list of frequently asked questions and contact numbers make the parents' job easier.
Santa Monica residents are able to send and receive e-mail as part of a free public service offered by the city. Anyone living, working or studying in the Los Angeles beach city can an open a free account on the city's Public Electronic Network, using computers in libraries and other locations. Western City
An Arapaho County housewife denied charges in May that she had tried to sell her 8-year-old Russian adopted daughter over the Internet. The alleged asking price was $4,000. The child was placed in foster care. USA Today
SB 1299: An Act Concerning Competition in the Telecommunications Industry passed the Senate in May and moved to the House for final approval. The bill requires telephone companies to offer access to all of their equipment, facilities and services to all customers in their service area. It also prohibits companies from discriminating against customers when it prices services, functions and network elements.
Delaware joined four states in signing a broad proclamation to promote public awareness of Y2K. Delaware, with Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Michigan, will work on sharing news of remediation progress and countering panicky misinformation.
Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill in June that limits companies' liability for Y2K failures. USA Today
Atlanta is to be the first U.S. city to get fiber-to-the-home services. BellSouth said that the city's residents will be the first to enjoy features such as high-speed Internet access, digital video and CD-quality sound, all in the comfort of their own homes, thanks to the use of passive optical networking technology.
A software program to help lighting designers comply with the Model Energy Code will be introduced by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) at a national conference in New Orleans this month. Called "HiLight," it allows faster and easier regulatory compliance, more efficient lighting systems and more energy-efficient buildings, said DBEDT Director Seiji Naya.
The State Council for Technology in
Learning was created by SB 1229. The council's responsibilities will include developing and maintaining a statewide education technology plan. The council will also make recommendations to the state Board of Education on educational technology and telecommunications plans, policies, programs and activities for all the state's educational systems.
The state is awarding grants totaling more than $200,000 for the Industrial Training Program, which will upgrade the skills of approximately 240 workers as three private-sector recipients install new high-tech tools.
Vanderburgh County is putting county ordinances, meeting minutes and property tax information online www.evansville.net/vcaudit via the county auditor's office. County News
The state's information technology services agency will be purchasing equipment to replace older systems for remote- dial access to all services available on the campus backbone network, including mainframe services. The new system will be capable of making 56k connections and will be easily expandable for increased usage.
The Kansas Department of Revenue www.ink.org/public/kdor/main.html took an award from the Federation of Tax Administrators for implementing an integrated automated tax-revenue and accounting system that improves customer service while fostering a team environment for employees.
The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, in collaboration with the National League of Cities and other groups, hosted a Y2K Community Conversation in Frankfort on June 17. The event kicked off with videotaped remarks from President Clinton, and answered common Y2K questions.
The Louisiana Technology Innovation Fund disbursed $2.8 million to four projects: the state university's medical center at Shreveport, LSU Baton Rouge, the University of New Orleans and the Department of Health and Hospitals.
A May survey of 400 state residents found that 30.5 percent expect Y2K to disrupt banking, and 13.3 percent intend to withdraw extra money before the new year. Maine banks are trying to assure customers that there's no reason to fear the millennium bug. USA Today
Voicing strong concerns that businesses could escape responsibility if their actions lead directly to the injury or death of Maryland residents as a result of unanticipated Y2K failures, Gov. Parris N. Glendening vetoed HB 8 in May -- his first veto of legislation from the 1999 General Assembly session.
View Tech Inc. confirmed the completion of a key phase of University of Massachusetts' Massachusetts Information Turnpike Initiative (MITI) on June 1, which will link all five UMass campuses and facilitate distance learning through a video-conferencing network. The completion of this last phase now allows approximately 20 video-enabled classrooms to make links to the more conventional networks of New England's telecom and cable companies, allowing the university to bring in content from other institutions around the world.
The Emergency Management Division of the State Police has formed a Y2K Coordination Team to help local officials prepare for any millennium-bug fallout. Michigan Municipal Review
In response to travelers' calls for a better, more accessible, travel-information network, scenic-byway kiosks are being designed and installed throughout the state to provide tourist, road-condition and other data.
Secretary of State Eric Clark has made all 1999 campaign-finance disclosure reports from state and legislative candidates available on the Internet. By accessing the Secretary of State's Web site , anyone can view copies of each report filed by candidates for statewide, state district and legislative office in 1999.
The Kansas City Public Works Department completed a comprehensive digitized infrastructure inventory of 200 lane miles from a wide-area survey and the 20- to 30-mile downtown Kansas City loop. The survey includes signal, sign and pavement-marking
U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns said the U.S. Department of Energy has given the Big Sky Economic Development Authority more than $100,000 in energy-research grants. The funds will be used to conduct a feasibility study and demonstration project of fuel cells.
Gov. Mike Johanns recently introduced a Council on Year 2000 to review the threat of Y2K disruptions statewide, in both public and private sectors. The council will assist the government in forming a response team to handle any associated emergencies.
Well-wired Clark County has put its Recorder's Office on the Net through the Official Records Inquiry System www.co.clark.nv.us/recorder/recindex.htm. County News
Orange Police Chief Andrew Ware has been selected for a national group of top law enforcement officers that will help shape the future of law enforcement. The National Center for Rural Law Enforcement planned to assemble 25 sheriffs and police chiefs from throughout the nation at its Little Rock, Ark., headquarters. Among the group's goals is to identify information technology needs of rural law enforcement agencies.
The state library announced plans in spring to install a statewide resource-sharing program that will link all the state's public, academic and school libraries.
New Mexico, as part of the 16-state Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA), made a move toward centralized purchasing when it issued a request for proposal from computer-equipment manufacturers that would give vendors a license to hunt across several states off a single RFP.
Taxpayers nationwide who wonder where their tax dollars go can check the Net www.ibo.nyc.ny.us. The New York City Independent Budget Office takes your 1998 federal tax payment totals and breaks down how many dollars went to each government program.
Mecklenburg County's Public Service and Information Department has an Internet site 18.104.22.168/charlotte to accept public comment. County News
Legislation has passed removing the Information Services Division from the Office Of Management and Budget and creating a new Information Technology Department. The new department CIO will become a Cabinet member appointed by the governor. The legislation took effect Aug. 1.
A joint project of the Ohio departments of public safety and transportation recorded images of all municipal, county, state and interstate roadways to create one GIS basemap that includes roadways, intersections, traffic signals, road signs and mile markers.
The U.S. Air Force Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) at Tinker Air Force Base has signed a contract with Tasc Inc., a division of Litton Industries, to provide technology-insertion and engineering services. The five-year task-ordering contract, estimated to be worth up to $65 million, is a continuation of the OC-ALC Technology Task Order Engineering Services program.
SB 937 would alter the state's DNA privacy law to facilitate research. The bill's advocates say the current law will drive bio-researchers out of the state. The Oregonian
A central Pennsylvania computer expert has been tapped to head Pennsylvania's technology system for sharing information between criminal justice organizations. Gov. Tom Ridge appointed Terrill Savidge, from Camp Hill, executive director of the Justice Network. The J-NET program is designed to help link information systems used by police, the courts and probation and parole officers across the state.
Gov. Lincoln Almond announced the awarding of grants to four technology-based Rhode Island companies as part of the Samuel Slater Technology Fund Innovation Partnership Program. The fund provides public-sector investments to industry-led collaborative activities in the state, including
the state-funded Research Centers of Excellence.
Canton is installing a virtual government site to handle increased citizen requests for services as the city expects its population to grow by 12 percent in the next year.
South Dakota is the first state to have a statewide computer network to help vaccine providers manage immunization records and make sure children get the right shots at the right time, according to Gov. Bill Janklow.
State lawmakers in June approved legislation that sets up a do-not-call list to keep consumers from getting aggravating telemarketing phone calls. It will be 18 months before the bill takes effect. It will take that long to set up the directory . USA Today
During multiple tornado outbreaks in May, Longview's Police Department made use of a reverse 911 system to automatically notify more than 30 potentially vulnerable locations in the town of 70,000. An automated message notified 32 preselected locations, including a shopping mall, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities and schools, that a tornado warning had been issued. The entire process took less than 10 minutes.
Cyberstates 3.0: A State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry, released by the American Electronics Association (AEA), states Utah's high-tech industry employment has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1990, or by 13,500 jobs, making it the seventh fastest-growing cyberstate in the nation.
The Vermont Department of Public Service is updating the state's telecommunications plan. The plan, to be finalized by year's end, will address lowering the cost of services, ensuring high-speed access to the Internet, providing universal, high-quality basic service and will present strategies for providing both the public and private sectors with community-based access to computing facilities, training and services delivered electronically.
About 71 percent of the state's school districts used Edutest.com's Virginia Practice Test, an online dress rehearsal for the state's Standards of Learning exam. Schools must achieve a 70-percent pass rate on the standardized test by 2007. Last year, the rate was 3 percent. The Washington Post
The Department of Information Services' Secure Access Services, tied to the state Access Washington site www.access.wa.us, provides customer-agencies' external customers with a private, secure, encrypted path around-the-clock to specific services within the statewide network. Service demand already approaches 10,000 public requests for the personalized-license-plate application.
West Virginia native Charles M. Vest, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the keynote speaker during the Southern Growth Policies Board's Telecom South conference June 27-29 in Charleston. The conference, Telecom South: Connecting with the Future, focused on technology as a critical tool for economic and social development in the south.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison's Pyle Center Distance Learning Classroom has 28 meeting rooms that can handle video conferences and a variety of multimedia presentations. Cameras are set up to give remote students a front-row seat.
The Board of Land Commissioners granted easement rights across several sections of state land that allows two interstate telecommunications carriers to lay fiber- optic cables through Wyoming. Both companies committed to participation in partnerships with the state to assist the state's efforts to gain improved access to high-capacity fiber-optic networks.
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