GT National Technology Snapshot

A roundup of information technology news and events from each state.

by / April 30, 1999

The Alabama Supercomputer Authority, which provides Internet connectivity to state government, industry and education, agreed to upgrade its system to permit researchers to study problems of greater complexity and provide faster turnaround for most problems. The Cray SV1 system from Silicon Graphics promises an eightfold increase in processing power.


The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution in January supporting state action to remedy Y2K-related issues. The organization urged timely action by the Legislature to allocate the resources necessary to implement a plan "to minimize exposure to potential litigation and other liabilities."


Maricopa County created Agenda Central, a program on its intranet to expedite the approval of Board of Supervisors agenda items. Agenda items are now submitted simultaneously to all departments, cutting approval time from eight weeks to two and saving reams of photocopied paper.


The Arkansas Economic Development Commission launched a new Web site that offers free job postings for Arkansas companies, links to communities, educational institutions and descriptions of the quality the state offers. As of Jan. 7, the site had received 169,000 hits from all over the world.


Beverly Hills has established a city forum on its Web site so that people can post information or provide input on relevant issues. The postings are monitored by city staff.


A GIS application allows Denver officials to evaluate the environmental liability of donated property in two hours, a process that formerly took three to five days. Inspectors can call up reports on nearby suspected pollution sites, past inspections and other environmental documents.


The University of Connecticut is using estimating software by Pulsar to compare construction bids for projects under $1 million that fall within the university's delivery-order contracting program. The software is similar to that used by the military.


The state's Department of Public Safety has a number of IT initiatives planned beyond June, including technology inventory and project management systems, vehicle-registration renewals, improved disaster-recovery planning and additional document imaging systems.


The Florida League of Cities maintains a list of vendors who provide Y2K services on its Web site, which also has links to the national and state Y2K Web sites. Quality Cities


State law requires all financial institutions doing business in Georgia to participate in an administrative program to identify account information of people delinquent in payment of child support.


Surgeons on the Big Island and in Honolulu used two-way closed-circuit television in February to collaborate during an eye operation on a 16-year-old Honokaa girl. The world's first operation using this type of telemedicine was done because the girl would have had trouble traveling to Honolulu. This way, the doctor advising the surgeon didn't have to make a daylong trip to Waimea. Honolulu Star-Bulletin


NetTV announced that Idaho's K-12 schools have chosen NetTV's 29-inch SVGA and 34-inch XGA progressive scan digital monitors as part of the statewide J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Grant for Education Technology.


The state police chose Pathlore Software's Phoenix enterprise training software to teach as many as 30,000 criminal justice workers to draw information from the new integrated criminal justice computer system. The computer-based training is expected to quickly pay for itself by eliminating the need for workers to travel to three-day classes and overtime pay for other workers to fill in for them.


A new "reverse-911" system was tested in Henry County. The computerized phone system can be programmed to call homes and businesses affected by emergencies. According to Sheriff Kim Cronk, if the testing goes well,
the funds will come from fees that inmates pay for county jail stays.


The University of Iowa's "Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy" is currently being reviewed by students, faculty and staff. The policy will be the university's definition of acceptable usage of its electronic technology, including student e-mail accounts.


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is using Security Dynamics' ACE/Server technology and SecurID strong authentication technology to create the first public-network-based system to be allowed to link to the FBI's criminal database by using rugged SecurID key-fob tokens issued to nearly every officer in the state, along with Security Dynamics' ACE/Server software on their network.


The Center for Rural Development of Southern and Eastern Kentucky will deploy FVC.COM products in its CenterNet project, designed to link 40 rural counties. The community-supported CenterNet will bring video conferencing, video-on-demand and video broadcasting capacity to local government, businesses, educators, nonprofit organizations and individual citizens.


Aiming to further increase awareness of the dreard Y2K bug, the Louisiana Municipal Association has joined the Police Jury Association of Louisiana and the state Sheriffs' Association to reach out to local officials who've somehow missed out on the mounting millennium furor.


The Maine Office of GIS will convert all of its GIS data from the current NAD27 to NAD83 format by mid-1999. The agency decided to undertake the conversion so that available state GIS data would be as up-to-date as possible. Federal agencies, such as the United States Geological Survey, have already begun to convert their GIS data from NAD27 to NAD83.


The state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services' Information Technology and Communication Division and the Arlington County, Va., police and sheriff's departments selected ANADAC to supply advanced photo imaging and identification systems with integrated facial recognition.


The Hampshire County Sheriff's Office is now able to communicate with other state and law enforcement agencies and the Criminal History Systems Board through the public-safety intranet.


Gov. John Engler announced that a cooperative effort between the state and Oakland County has created a new electronic link to law enforcement technology for child-protection workers. In November, the Court Law Enforcement Information System (CLEMIS) became operational in Oakland County, allowing county child-protective- services workers to access law enforcement information on homes they visit.


Affiliated Computer Services Inc. (ACS) signed a five-year outsourcing agreement with Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative (MCCC), under which the ACS will continue to provide property appraisal tax and collection systems and customer support services through Dec. 31, 2005. The MCCC is a joint-powers organization comprised of 74 of Minnesota's 87 counties.


Secretary of State Eric Clark's proposal to give the public easier access to state government did not survive the legislative process. The bill would have resulted in the publication of Mississippi's first administrative code, a complete listing of the rules and regulations of all state agencies. Clark said, "I plan to work hard for the adoption of this law next year. I learned a long time ago that making major reforms in state government is not a job for the short-winded."


Cable TV viewers in Springfield can use a special code to request by phone information on city services such as meeting schedules, event locations and marriage- license procedures and have that information delivered directly to their televisions. The process takes place through an interactive feature on the city-government television channel.


The state's Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks will implement an automated licensing system for hunting, fishing and other recreational licenses. The new system is scheduled to go online by 2001.


Gov. Mike Johanns appointed Lt. Gov. Dave Maurstad to serve as chairman of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission. The NITC consists of eight other members.


The Las Vegas election Web site now provides online information for the 1999 municipal election -- the May 4 primary and the June 8 general ballot. Topics include general information, voter information, candidate information, election information and reporting.

New Hampshire

A hearing was held in February on SB 124, a bill seeking to establish a committee to study the integration of technology for state and local governments. The committee is expected to report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to state leaders and the state library by Nov. 1.

New Jersey

Electric and gas utilities were deregulated under a law signed by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. The bill cuts 5 percent in August and an additional 5 percent over the next three years.

New Mexico

Gov. Gary Johnson and state CIO Jim Hall released "The State of New Mexico: Year 2000 Report," the result of a comprehensive study of the state's efforts to address Y2K problems. They also discussed the importance of establishing a cabinet-level CIO.

New York

Gov. George Pataki discarded his plan to sell New Yorkers' drivers' license photos to a private company. Pataki's proposed budget included an anticipated $2 million in revenue from the sale of the computerized drivers' license photos. Pataki's office noted that the photo plan was mistakenly included in the budget.

North Carolina

Efforts to raise $6 million for renovation of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Health Sciences Library have begun. Plans call for rewiring the building to bring it into the Information Age and creating space for patron service and high-tech information tools.

North Dakota

The state has created a sophisticated bill-tracking service that provides up-to-date status of bills before legis- lative bodies. With the connection to the legislators' e-mail, users can send feedback. A schedule of hearings pertaining to all bills during a given week can be obtained online the preceding Friday.


The Ohio State Medical Board is considering cracking down on the selling of prescription drugs over the Internet. Drugs dealing with baldness, impotence and weight loss are the most common.


Oklahoma City replaced the standard mug shots of incoming jail inmates with digital photographs and a computerized system to catalog and retrieve images. The photo database allows police officers to generate quick photo lineups for identification of suspects and easily exchange photos with other law enforcement agencies.


A proposal for a $50 million bond fund to help pay for technology infrastructure in schools throughout the state was proposed by Gov. John A. Kitzhaber.


Thirty-six Pennsylvania school districts will receive grants totaling $1 million to help students design Web sites for community organizations. The grants are part of the Web Companies Project, a program designed to equip students with skills needed for the 21st century.

Rhode Island

Gov. Lincoln Almond's Executive Order 99-1 calls for state departments to designate Y2K teams for the purpose of resolving operational issues before the end of 1999. Teams will report findings to their departmental directors, which will include testing, contingency plans, vendor/supplier compliance, and independent validation and verification of critical systems.

South Carolina

The Municipal Association of South Carolina's winter meeting in February featured a computer resource center with stations for sending e-mail to legislators. Local government officials also met with a technology professional who answered questions about the Internet and networking. Uptown

South Dakota

The Department of Health now accepts credit card orders for birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates online.


Gov. Don Sundquist held a statewide teleconference on early childhood development, broadcast live to locations across the state. It focused on ways that government can educate parents and caregivers to ensure that children have the best chance of getting a safe and healthy start in life and an excellent education.


The city of Austin collaborated with the University of Texas and CBT Systems Inc. to develop more than 400 technology and desktop courses offered over the Internet and city intranet. In just nine months, employees registered online for 926 courses, took the classes without leaving their workstations and scored an average of 97 percent on final tests.


The Department of Public Safety publishes information about missing persons online to help families and friends find their loved ones.


The state Attorney General's Office issued a warning to residents about a continuing consumer fraud scheme emanating from Nigeria. A number of people in state government received unsolicited e-mails from a Dr. Abubakar Duru-Aminu requesting assistance in the transfer of $21 million from a bank in Nigeria. The office warned against giving out any personal or banking information in response to "Dr. Duru-Aminu." A federal task force is investigating similar messages sent by other means.


Virginia Tech announced it will begin limited deployment of high-bandwidth wireless technology, or local multipoint distribution service (LMDS), in the Blacksburg area in early May. Virginia Tech won four LMDS licenses in last year's government auction.


In an effort to bring high-tech business development to hard-hit timber, fishing and other rural communities, lawmakers are introducing HB 1480, a measure to grant tax credits to "help-desk" businesses that open shop in distressed counties.

West Virginia

Gov. Cecil H. Underwood announced the formation of a special committee to establish a national center for identification technologies. The committee will devote its efforts to identifying future opportunities and capitalizing on emerging fields during the 21st century.


Wisconsin's new centralized child-support system started collecting and distributing child support payments Jan. 4, and officials now say that in virtually every case checks are sent out to dependent parents within 24 hours of when they arrive. More than $66 million in child support was collected, up nearly 4 percent from the previous January.


A dozen more Wyoming educational institutions are taking advantage of federal discounts on education technology. State school chief Judy Catchpole says the E-rate program offers discounts of 20 percent to 90 percent on technology related to the Internet and telecommunications. The latest wave of recipients includes districts in Albany and Fremont counties, as well as several libraries and individual schools in Gillette and Wright.

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