by / May 31, 1999

The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, houses the Computer-Based Honors Program through which undergraduate students apply technology to research across the curriculum.


Gov. Tony Knowles committed $12.6 million to assess and repair any potential Y2K problems in the state's most critical systems of state government. The funds will be used for the state's mainframe computer, the Marine Highway System, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and other critical state functions.


A $6.9 million technology grant is helping more than 30,000 students in three Phoenix school districts reach "global heights" by connecting them with students worldwide. Each year through 2003, more than $1 million will be used on a specific technology project within the districts. This year, the funds will be used for teacher training and Web instruction.


SB 534 in the 82nd General Assembly of the state Legislature calls for the appropriation of more than $8 million for technology infrastructure improvements at the University of Arkansas.


California leads the country in being one of the most cybertax friendly states, according to Taxation of Cyberspace, a new book jointly published by Deloitte & Touche LLP and the Information Technology Association of America. This means that for many transactions, businesses and consumers alike can buy and sell on the Internet and pay a fraction of the tax in California that they would pay in other states.


State legislators in April approved a bill to severely limit the use of automated devices that take photos of drivers caught speeding on radar. HB 1364 also prohibits the use of flash devices needed to catch the image of the violator's license plate, and would limit the penalty for such violations, assuming the speeder could be photographed and served in person, to $40.


Rep. Paul Doyle in March asked General Law to approve a bill banning unsolicited or "junk" e-mail attempting to sell goods or services. The Democrat from Wethersfield said spam takes up time and money when computer users have to delete a host of unwanted messages. The Hartford Courant


A public policy forum focusing on the application of GIS technology for mapping and data distribution was held in March. Work sessions and presentations included "An Action Agenda for GIS in Delaware: The Creation of the DGDC and the Delaware Clearinghouse Project" and "The Federal Geographic Data Committee and the Development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure."


The City of Wonders, a project by the Florida League of Cities, celebrates local government through a virtual city which emulates the exhibit via the Internet and technology services. More than 1.5 million people are expected to visit the traveling exhibit during its two-year statewide tour. Quality Cities


Georgia State University Libraries have introduced GIL (GALILEO Interconnected Libraries) as an integrated, online catalog system. GIL contains records for materials owned by the university's various libraries, totaling more than 1.2 million titles and including 7,700 active serial subscriptions.


Gov. Benjamin Cayetano released $12 million from his $45 million construction budget to upgrade the electrical wiring and power capacity in Hawaii's public schools so that climate-controlled classrooms can house more computers. This is the first step in the governor's commitment to improve the educational technical infrastructure throughout the state.


The state Senate in March approved SB 1183, which would give parents the choice of having their children included in a computerized registry to track their immunization history and to remind parents when their children are due for the next round of shots.


Gov. George H. Ryan proposed nearly $100 million in funding for technology initiatives in February while announcing the creation of the Illinois Technology Office, following through on a pledge he made during last year's gubernatorial campaign. The commission will serve as a resource to provide leadership and vision in a digital global network.


Indianapolis allows traffic violators to pay parking and traffic fines from the comfort of their computer. While many local jurisdictions provide payment information and schedules on their Web sites, Indianapolis is among a select few to accept payments online. Nation's Cities Weekly


The state Legislature passed HF 762 in late April, providing a status quo appropriation for Information Technology Services but slightly decreasing the number of full-time equivalent positions. The bill also contains intent language to create an Information Technology Department effective July 1, 2000.


The University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, of which the University of Kansas is a member, joined several major telecommunications corporations in late February to launch the Abilene Network, a high-availability backbone network to support advanced research applications and Internet2.


The Kentucky Resource Directory is an Internet database of roughly 45,000 services available in the commonwealth at the federal, state, local and private levels. The directory offers phone numbers, and detailed maps and photographs of buildings where services are located. The project's cost, about $200,000, was funded by Gov. Paul Patton's Empower Kentucky program.


Implementation of the SAP Human Resources and Payroll System for the Integrated Statewide Information Systems Program is due to be completed late next year after it was announced in late March that the state signed a contract with Nichols.


The Office of Geographic Information Systems has completed the Maine Forest Service Digital Raster Graphic application, with images written to compact disc for each of the nine forest service regions. The application allows foresters to display data collected with GPS units over the familiar U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps.


The Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Plans Web site hosts a library of informational and educational materials about the plans and investment options. In-house staff will perform the site's design and all updates.


Gary Lambert, the commonwealth's deputy purchasing agent and NASPO president, said in early April that 22 transactions had been conducted on the EMall pilot project -- a cooperative purchasing effort between Massachusetts, Idaho, New York, Utah and Texas -- since its inception in October.


Instead of using the Secretary of State's Office, Dearborn residents can visit the Driver License Bureau inside police headquarters to utilize the bureau's computer technology to streamline the process of obtaining drivers' licenses. Michigan Municipal Review


The Land Management Information Center has an interactive version of the state's recent eight-class land use online. Users can obtain land use statistics at the state, county and multicounty levels. GIS/LIS News


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott made five appointments to the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce. But the Mississippi Republican's biggest move came in late April when he filled an opening with a county commissioner from Oregon, breaking up the logjam and allowing the commission to finally convene.


Gov. Mel Carnahan recommended $2.9 million in his fiscal-year 2000 executive budget for a student loan forgiveness program, which would occur provided the student enters one of Missouri's "high-demand" fields, such as computer technology.


Banks, Montana Power, US West and state and local governments all insist that they are ready for Y2K. "There may be some hiccups. But in general, life as we know it is going to continue," said Mike Hoey, deputy coordinator for the Department of Emergency Services at the Bozeman Fire Department. Bozeman Daily Chronicle


Omaha native C. Edward McVaney, founder
and chairman of J.D. Edwards, donated $32.2 million to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, to enhance computer science education at the university. He envisions recruiters having to compete for graduates of the nation's top computer science program. Lincoln Journal Star


Las Vegas plans to use an Oracle database, tools and applications to efficiently run the city's financial and HR processes.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Municipal Association's communications director, Heather Anderson, has been appointed to serve on the Governor's Y2K Preparedness Task Force, which will identify and assess the state's and other public/regulated agencies' preparedness, develop communications strategies for informing of the public of the status of preparedness and report to the governor on the state's level of preparedness. New Hampshire Town and City

New Jersey

The Higher Education Technology Infrastructure fund provides $50 million for development of technology infrastructure at the state's 45 public and independent higher education institutions with a public mission, and $5 million for public library grants and statewide library infrastructure though the New Jersey State Library.

New Mexico

The state's Information Services Division Help Desk is now online. Services include handling questions regarding phone problems, terminal emulation, the mainframe database and Y2K assistance.

New York

Gov. George Pataki announced New York will be first to utilize a computerized crime pin-mapping system for the entire state. This computer system will ensure that all police agencies within the state have the latest information and complete data to deploy their resources in a coordinated attack on crime.

North Carolina

Recent IT initiatives which have enabled the state to use IT to link all state agencies include a "shared service" approach, where each agency retains control over access to the respective data. The statewide technical architecture is online.

North Dakota

SB 2043 establishes a state information technology department and provides that political subdivisions desiring access to wide area network services shall obtain those services from the department unless they can demonstrate to the board that current services are more cost-effective. CityScan


The 530 employees in the Dupage County Sheriff's Office can't take vacation from November to January because they are on Y2K duty. For their selfless commitment to the cause, employees will be treated to pizza on New Year's Eve by Sheriff John Zaruba. County News


The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology announced in late March that 28 health research projects totaling more than $1.2 million were approved. The winning applicants were chosen from a
field of 100.


Open Oregon, a statewide organization dedicated to educating people about Oregon's public records and meeting laws, met in February to explore access to and storage of electronic public records, including e-mail, in cases where such records are used in deliberative or fact-gathering ways by public agencies. LOCal Focus


Philadelphia named Intellisource Information Systems as the prime service provider for its comprehensive desktop computer and intradepartment services to the employees of the various city agencies.

Rhode Island

The state will use the SCT Courts system for its JusticeLink project -- a comprehensive and coordinated criminal and juvenile justice information management system.

South Carolina

H3276, a bill by House Speaker David Wilkins, would severely restrict municipal franchise and business license authorities, eliminating the costly franchise fees currently paid by telecommunications companies and substituting a $25 permit fee. Uptown

South Dakota

Technology and Innovations in Education, a Rapid City-based technology consortium serving schools statewide, will manage a project bringing computer-based career information software to students.


A new $34 million ASTRO radio, voice and data communications system from Motorola will serve
all 20 Nashville agencies, including the city-owned Nashville Electric Service, metropolitan police and fire departments and emergency medical services. The first phase is expected to be completed this month. Nation's Cities Weekly


Leaders in Texas' telecommunications industry will invest more than $5 million in telecommunications engineering educational programs between 1998 and 2002. The 11 Texas businesses that are members of the Texas Telecommunications Engineering Consortium (TxTEC) have already awarded $1 million in scholarships and graduate fellowships to various universities.


Gov. Michael Leavitt is one of three governors and seven state and local government representatives on the national Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce. Despite its formation late last year, the unit is slated to convene for the first time this month in Virginia.


U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced his "Electronic Rights for the 21st Century Act" in late April. S. 854 targets areas including privacy protection for information stored on computer networks,government access to location information and privacy safeguards for information collected by Internet registrars.


Virginia and Washington were the only two states to receive an "A" grade in the IT area of the Government Performance Project's nationwide study of state and federal government management. The mark is impressive considering one state received an "F" and seven received a "D."


Tacoma Public Utilities, among a handful of such agencies nationwide to offer quality utility Web sites, has taken the lead in service. Its Web site contains a feature allowing customers to track their own account information. Nation's Cities Weekly

West Virginia

Kanawha County literally turned back the clock while conducting a test for Y2K readiness by turning off the computers and writing things down while flipping through stacks of paper. While the county's computers have been replaced or upgraded to handle Y2K, the daylong test was done as a precaution. County News


Gov. Tommy Thompson included nearly $10 million in his capital budget for renovations and remodeling of The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, Wing Technology Center. The project will be funded as part of the governor's $181 million WisBuild Initiative, designed to bring state facilities current with today's technical standards.


The Health Passport Project is a three-city demonstration that uses a smart card to put important health-related information at the fingertips of mothers and their children. The project will be conducted over a two-year period in Cheyenne and two other western cities beginning this summer.


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