National Technology Snapshot

National Technology Snapshot

by / February 28, 1998
A round-up of information technology news and events from each of the 50 states.

The state stalled its plan to tax Internet service providers and appears to be moving toward repealing the ISP tax rules this year.

The University of Alaska is participating in Gartner Group's nationwide effort to increase the number of information technology programs in colleges and universities. The goal is to ease the information technology labor shortage across the country.

Peoria will arm 31 police vehicles with wireless mobile data terminals and communications software from Software Corporation of America. The system will provide officers with wireless access to state and local databases.

The University of Arkansas is using Oracle software to teach students to manage spatial data and address the complex spatial data management issues government and private industry face today.

The Department of Motor Vehicles launched a new electronic insurance reporting pilot. The pilot, being conducted with five insurance companies in the state, allows insurance companies to voluntarily report mandatory vehicle insurance information electronically to the DMV so drivers don't have to.

The Department of Human Services is working with Computer Associates International to manage a growing statewide network focused on delivering 21st-century services to Colorado residents. The system will streamline the management of the department's information technology infrastructure and provide comprehensive control and monitoring of its mainframe and networked resources.

Norwalk Community Technical College is working with the Gartner Group to increase the number of information technology programs in colleges and universities.

Gov. Thomas Carper announced the state sold $133 million in general obligation bonds. Among other things, the money will be used to finance the construction of a state-of-the-art 800MHz police communications system.

Orange County's Juvenile Assessment Center is using a new client/server system to track juvenile offenders and ensure they don't get lost in the justice system.

Gwinnett County became the first to take advantage of a 1997 bill authorizing the use of electronic signatures as a legal and valid method of electronic commerce. The county is using the signatures in an open database that allows court and law enforcement agencies to share information.

The state judiciary unveiled a new computerized document and information retrieval and access system. Court records previously stored in folders or on microfilm are now available via computers connected by telephone lines. Court Technology Bulletin

Tony Paquin, an Idaho software entrepreneur, announced he's running for Congress in an effort to improve the knowledge of technology among lawmakers. Paquin claims most elected officials remain largely uninformed about technology.

Kane County's Board of Administration took an unusual step toward reducing its costs by installing an ATM in its courthouse. The county believes the ATM will make it easier for defendants to pay fines at the time of their hearing and will save the court the cost of cashing checks.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) implemented a system to allow insurance agents in the state to file a Certificate of Compliance form online. Using the system, insurance agents can also automatically update an individual's driving record. Previously, information was sent to BMV via mail.

Gov. Terry Branstad proposed the passage of the Iowa Electronic Commerce Security Act and the development of the IowAccess Network to help provide "anytime/anyplace access" to government information and services.

Gov. Bill Graves announced the reappointment of Leroy Gattin and Marvin Maydew to the Information Network of Kansas. The 10-member board is responsible for exploring technical ways to improve citizen and business access to public information; investigating methods of expanding the amount and kind of public information provided; and cooperating with the Kansas Department of Administration's Division of Information Systems and Communications to achieve the purposes of the network.

The Cabinet for Families and Children, Office of Technology Services, is working in cooperation with the Council of Area Development Districts, Empower Kentucky and the Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet to implement a statewide directory of human services providers on the Internet using Sybase and Sybase Web tools.

Rep. Richard Baker is cosponsoring legislation to establish an industry-led, nationally-uniform digital signature authentication system.

In his State of the State address, Gov. Angus King announced the state would begin working with the Detwiler Foundation to double the number of high-speed computers available to K-12 students in the state.

Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier and over 100 representatives from citizen patrol groups across the state launched the Citizen on Phone Patrol program -- an effort to help citizens fight crime. Bell Atlantic is donating cellular phones, pagers and service so volunteers who patrol their communities at night will have free and instant access to 911.

Commonwealth educators are working with 3Com to develop MassEd.Net -- a new ISP specifically for Massachusetts educators. To help speed the program, 3Com will make its U.S. Robotics 56K fax modem available to educators at a discounted rate.

Pontiac is working with Holland Systems to update technology in the city. Improvements include an automated voucher payment process and a wide area network that links the city's 11 buildings.

The Department of Finance is helping Itasca County develop an outcome-based reporting system for roughly 20 children and family development programs. The system integrates eight data elements from categorical programs and reports the information in terms of whether the services provided meet established goals. Welfare Information Network

The Department of Education was awarded a second grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The grant will provide continuity in educational programming for chronically ill children, including programs like Keypals, which allow kids to locate penpals using e-mail and the Internet.

The Division of Workforce Development is using Micro Information Products' NonProfit series to help keep track of potential funding sources from the federal government and other places.

Richland County implemented RicoNET -- a network enabling anyone in the county to access library card catalogs anywhere in the county system. The network also provides free Internet access to county residents.

The Department of Labor implemented an IVR system to help handle the 45,000 to 60,000 claims for unemployment insurance benefits it handles each year.

Gov. Bob Miller is promoting a new $44 million school technology bill.

New Hampshire
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Child Support is working with Lockheed Martin IMS to process and distribute more than $50 million annually in child support payments to needy families in the state.

New Jersey
Somerset County government is now on the Internet at . County residents can use the site to print out several forms -- including voter registration forms, absentee ballots and land development applications -- which saves them a trip to the office.

New Mexico
The state purchasing agent recently awarded price agreements to US West Communications and the General Services Department, Information Systems Division, based upon on a joint proposal submitted in response to a Network Operations Center Services RFP.

New York
New York City purchased Control Software's MCMS fleet management system. The system will track and automate fleet maintenance activities for the city's 26,000-plus vehicles.

North Carolina
Winston-Salem developed an integrated realtime information service for its bus, paratransit, van and carpooling systems. The system collects and disseminates data about traffic conditions on local highways and roadways. PTI Prism

North Dakota
Gov. Edward Schafer's office connected 30 government students from Elgin/New Leipzip High School to his State of the State address via the Internet. Later that day, the governor went online and discussed the speech with them and other North Dakota students.

The city of Columbus is working with UGC Consulting for full deployment of a four-year, citywide GIS initiative. The project emphasizes improving utility infrastructure, such as electric, water, wastewater and storm water management.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma and the FBI raided the headquarters of Multimedia Games and seized its main computer. Authorities contend that the company's MegaMania bingo game is really a slot machine and therefore illegal in Oklahoma.

Gov. John Kitzhaber introduced seven new members of the Oregon Telecommunications Forum Council -- a group formed to advise state government on telecommunications policy issues.

The Pittsburgh Police Department announced a $1 million contract with Paradigm4. Officers on the streets of Pittsburgh will be armed with wireless technology that will provide them immediate access to critical information.

Rhode Island
The state External Committee on Telecommunications and Higher Education made recommendations to the Board of Governors for Higher Education, including having institutions undertake initiatives to assist the faculty and staff in becoming more innovative in their use of telecommunications.

South Carolina
Clemson University will receive a grant from IBM to help support the development of Internet2. The university will receive hardware, software, switches and other pieces of network infrastructure critical to Internet2 applications.

South Dakota
Gov. Bill Janklow praised Splitrock Telecom for sponsoring a student essay contest that will put more computers in four eastern school districts. Students in the four school districts are being challenged to write an essay describing why an individual teacher they know is the best communicator in their school. The four teachers who are the subjects of winning essays will each receive a new laptop computer.

Hamilton County is using BANNER Records Indexing software from Systems & Computer Technology. The new system gives attorneys, professional title searchers and the public faster, more efficient access to recorded information, such as deeds and mortgages.

The Department of Transportation and Dallas Area Rapid Transit are testing advanced video technology and specialized computer equipment as an enforcement tool on the I-30 contraflow high- occupancy vehicle lane in Dallas. ITS America News

Gov. Mike Leavitt unveiled his Schools for the 21st Century program. The plan includes linking schools and homes with technology for both instructional and informational purposes and professional staff development to address the uses of technology for instruction.

The state hosted a School-to-Work Week in February, wherein teachers shadowed employees at IBM. The goal was for teachers to take the world of work back to their classrooms and use it as a teaching tool.

Prince William County is using a new constituent tracking system. The system tracks questions from constituents and ensure all of their concerns have been addressed. GML Government Microcomputer Letter

The Department of Transportation is using Travel Aid -- an intelligent transportation system designed to improve safety and reduce the hundreds of accidents that occur each year on Snoqualmie Pass just east of Seattle.

West Virginia
Gov. Cecil Underwood announced the awarding of a $100,000 grant to Glenville State College. The grant will support the purchase, installation, maintenance and upgrading of equipment for a distance-learning classroom.

Gov. Tommy Thompson announced his appointments to the Technology for Educational Achievement Board. The board will oversee the governor's $500 million initiative to advance education in the state.

Various governmental departments in Cheyenne and Laramie County are working with the GIS Studio to analyze enterprise-wide use of geographic information system technology.

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