The National Technology Snapshot

A roundup of information technology news and events from each of the 50 states.

by / May 6, 2001 0
Alabama

The state received a good review from a joint project of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a government trade magazine that periodically grades state governments on how they serve citizens. The review is due to several new technology programs that deliver services to citizens.

Alaska

The Department of Health and Social Services has undertaken the Grant Reform Project to assess and improve the states grant activities. The initial task of the project, to develop recommendations for improvement or change, has been completed. The recommendations include a Web site for grants and a database to track grant documents.

Arizona

The states School Facilities Board voted to award a $100 million contract to Qwest Communications. Qwest will provide computer networking infrastructure and Internet connectivity of public schools statewide. The networking contract will provide schools with the resources necessary to use the TOPAZ telecommunications network being coordinated by the Government Information Technology Agency. This will give rural communities broadband access without requiring additional money from the state.

Arkansas

In February, the House of Representatives approved HB 1003, a bill that would require all public schools and libraries to install filtering software to keep minors from viewing pornographic Internet sites. -- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

California

Gov. Gray Davis announced the release of $167 million in education technology grants for high schools. More than 108,000 multimedia, Internet-capable computers will be added to high schools as a result of the grants. This will bring the student-to-multimedia-computers ratio down to 5-to-1 across the state.

Colorado

In February, Gov. Bill Owens announced the Leadership Technology and Student Achievement initiative. The initiative is designed to educate the states K-12 school superintendents and principals on effective uses of technology in schools. The two-year program will begin this summer.

Connecticut

In February, CIO Rock Regan announced new standards to be applied to all new technology purchases and upgrades throughout state government. The new standards are posted on the Department of Information Technologys Web site. The standards will help state agencies share information with other state agencies.

Delaware

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed an executive order to create a permanent E-Government Steering Committee to coordinate the states Internet presence and create a uniform set of standards for state agency Web sites. The governor also ordered state agencies to seek funding for Internet projects through this centralized body.

Florida

The Governors Mentoring Initiative is partnering with Intermedia Communications to provide Tampa Bay mentoring programs with more than 250 computers. This initiative is an ongoing effort to wire the schools and nonprofit youth organizations to the Internet.

Georgia

The Georgia Technology Authority launched an initiative to build a communications network that will connect the entire state. The new network should improve constituents access to government and promote economic development within the state.

Hawaii

The state has chosen NIC Commerce, the e-procurement subsidiary of NIC, to build and operate an e-purchasing system for state agencies. This project will enhance the services offered by the Hawaii Information Consortium at the states official Web site.

Idaho

The Nampa School Districts 13 schools now have better access to the Internet after a major technology upgrade. The $150,000 upgrade was partly paid for with funds from the Nampa Urban Renewal Agency. -- The Idaho Statesman

Illinois

In February, the Quad County Urban League announced the opening of the PowerUP center, a technology center that will provide 15 computers to serve underprivileged families. Sixty students who attend after-school programs will be the first to learn word-processing skills and Internet navigation. -- The Beacon News On Line

Indiana

The state recently unveiled its updated BillWatch service. The update will allow residents to search bill information by committee, bill author and more.

Iowa

Beginning in February, nurses could renew their professional licenses online. The service is accessed at the Board of Nursing Web site and will allow licensees to know immediately if their licenses have been renewed and when they will be printed.

Kansas

The state Board of Nursing unveiled a new Web site that will allow nurses to renew their licenses online. The online application also will allow users to verify license information and make changes if necessary.

Kentucky

Starting in February, the Governors Office for Technology enhanced the functions of the existing Enterprise Messaging Services by offering Wireless Messaging Services, which are designed to assist state personnel who work remotely.

Louisiana

In February, Gov. Mike Foster named James DuBos the states first CIO. DuBos will oversee state government use of computers, telecommunications and technology. DuBos spent 15 years in the private sector as the CEO of an e-commerce company.

Maine

The task force for the Maine Learning Technology Endowment released its final report and recommendations on integrating technology into the states schools in late January. The task force recommended that portable, wireless computers be provided to the states seventh- and eighth-grade students and teachers.

Maryland

A survey conducted by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education for the Department of Education indicated that students are improving their access to computers and the Internet, although major differences persist between schools. Data in the new survey show that the higher the poverty level in schools, the less frequently technology is used.

Massachusetts

In February, $10 million worth of grants were awarded to fire departments in the state. The grants will be used to purchase items from a state-approved list, such as digital cameras, radio equipment, systems for tracking firefighters as they move in and out of buildings, gauges to measure toxic chemicals, etc. -- Union-News

Michigan

Gov. John Engler was one of the 30 "high-impact players who have had a powerful effect on technology in the nations schools," according to eSchool News. The announcement came following eSchool News third annual review of the nations leaders in educational technology advancements.

Minnesota

The Department of Transportation and Administration has terminated an agreement with ICS/UCN that would expand fiber-optic communications to portions of the state. Adeel Lari, state project director for network construction, said the state remains committed to expanding telecommunications networks and will continue to explore options that would bring affordable telecommunications services to all citizens.

Mississippi

In February, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove announced that 6,325 Internet accessible computers would be installed in schools across the state as part of his goal to place a computer in every public elementary and secondary classroom by the end of 2002. With the installation of these computers, Musgrove has accomplished more than half of his goal.

Missouri

State education officials have launched a new Web site designed to help local school districts recruit teachers and help job-hunters find positions in the state. The Web site, called br />
Illinois

In February, the Quad County Urban League announced the opening of the PowerUP center, a technology center that will provide 15 computers to serve underprivileged families. Sixty students who attend after-school programs will be the first to learn word-processing skills and Internet navigation. -- The Beacon News On Line

Indiana

The state recently unveiled its updated BillWatch service. The update will allow residents to search bill information by committee, bill author and more.

Iowa

Beginning in February, nurses could renew their professional licenses online. The service is accessed at the Board of Nursing Web site and will allow licensees to know immediately if their licenses have been renewed and when they will be printed.

Kansas

The state Board of Nursing unveiled a new Web site that will allow nurses to renew their licenses online. The online application also will allow users to verify license information and make changes if necessary.

Kentucky

Starting in February, the Governors Office for Technology enhanced the functions of the existing Enterprise Messaging Services by offering Wireless Messaging Services, which are designed to assist state personnel who work remotely.

Louisiana

In February, Gov. Mike Foster named James DuBos the states first CIO. DuBos will oversee state government use of computers, telecommunications and technology. DuBos spent 15 years in the private sector as the CEO of an e-commerce company.

Maine

The task force for the Maine Learning Technology Endowment released its final report and recommendations on integrating technology into the states schools in late January. The task force recommended that portable, wireless computers be provided to the states seventh- and eighth-grade students and teachers.

Maryland

A survey conducted by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education for the Department of Education indicated that students are improving their access to computers and the Internet, although major differences persist between schools. Data in the new survey show that the higher the poverty level in schools, the less frequently technology is used.

Massachusetts

In February, $10 million worth of grants were awarded to fire departments in the state. The grants will be used to purchase items from a state-approved list, such as digital cameras, radio equipment, systems for tracking firefighters as they move in and out of buildings, gauges to measure toxic chemicals, etc. -- Union-News

Michigan

Gov. John Engler was one of the 30 "high-impact players who have had a powerful effect on technology in the nations schools," according to eSchool News. The announcement came following eSchool News third annual review of the nations leaders in educational technology advancements.

Minnesota

The Department of Transportation and Administration has terminated an agreement with ICS/UCN that would expand fiber-optic communications to portions of the state. Adeel Lari, state project director for network construction, said the state remains committed to expanding telecommunications networks and will continue to explore options that would bring affordable telecommunications services to all citizens.

Mississippi

In February, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove announced that 6,325 Internet accessible computers would be installed in schools across the state as part of his goal to place a computer in every public elementary and secondary classroom by the end of 2002. With the installation of these computers, Musgrove has accomplished more than half of his goal.

Missouri

State education officials have launched a new Web site designed to help local school districts recruit teachers and help job-hunters find positions in the state. The Web site, called Jobs for Educators in Missouri Schools, went online February 1. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provided funding.

Montana

The Department of Commerce is sponsoring an online business course for small business owners. The course, which consists of 15 sessions, was to have been online March 1.

Nebraska

In February, teachers and parents partnered to create the Elmwood-Murdock Web Parent Program. The program is designed to create a Web page for every classroom. Parents are now involved with technology in the classroom, and help update information throughout the year. Parents that are not involved in the classroom can visit the Web site and check their childs projects -- creative writing, artwork and spelling lists.

Nevada

Truckee Meadows residents are getting an opportunity to learn basic computer skills, as well as more sophisticated skills such as Web page design, video production and editing. A partnership between Truckee Meadows Community College and High Sierra Community Radio will also allow those who are interested to develop Internet radio broadcasting skills. -- Reno Gazette-Journal

New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire launched its first dot-com, called Chaoticom. The company is based on mathematics professor Kevin Shorts research into data compression and encryption. Short has discovered a way to shrink audio and video files using chaos theory. -- Fosters Daily Democrat

New Jersey

Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority has authorized digitized photographs, taken from the air, to make maps and a computer model of the sewer and water systems of the city in order to make repairs. T&M Associates of Middletown will do the mapping for approximately $100,000.

New Mexico

In February, Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley announced the launch of a new Web site within the Department of Public Safety. The Web site was established as a service to the public and is based in part on information shared with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

New York

Gov. George E. Pataki announced a $250,000 grant to support the new E-Business Center at Marist College. Funding for this initiative builds on the governors commitment to programs developed in partnership with the states colleges and universities. The Center will help area businesses improve their marketing, sales and purchasing strategies using technology.

North Carolina

The states Office of Information Technology Services announced an online store where citizens can purchase state government products, such as books, prints and maps. The new Web site is on the NC@Your Service Portal home page.

North Dakota

In February, Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced a new Web site that will take citizens directly to the Tax Department to find forms and other publications offered by the Tax Department.

Ohio

In February, Gov. Bob Taft announced that state tax- credit programs raised more than $7 million in investment capital last year. The state Technology Investment Tax Credit program encourages the growth and success of small technology companies by offering tax incentives and rewards to those who invest in the research and development of these companies.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City received $30 million from Southwestern Bell to support technology in Oklahoma public schools. The money will be used to buy and install new computers and telecommunications equipment. -- USA Today

Oregon

A new state-sponsored Web site featuring interactive online forums for government officials, community leaders, non profit organizations, private businesses, education institutions and citizens interested in sharing information was launched in February. The online forum is one of several state initiatives designed to help citizens develop an understanding of what they can do to create the future of the state.

Pennsylvania

The mayor and top city officials opened a computer-learning network center in southwest Philadelphia. Its one of the first facilities to expand access to the Internet in the inner city. The center was funded entirely by private gifts. Corporate sponsors donated about $50,000 worth of computer equipment for use in after-school programs.

Rhode Island

In February, the state opened its first free Business Information Center for women at the Center for Women and Enterprise Providence. The center will offer data and advice on starting and running a company, as well as counselors who will be able to speak specifically about womens issues.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Employment Security Commission awarded a contract to implement an Intranet/Internet Client and Reporting System. The reporting system under the Workforce Investment Act was designed to consolidate, coordinate and improve employment, training, literacy and vocational rehabilitation programs. The systems will include a welfare-to-work capability to record data and to produce federal reports.

South Dakota

The Department of Transportation launched a new Web site for travelers driving in the state. The Web site includes an interactive map of the state with road conditions, weather information and travel tips for each region, including specific reports for the interstate highways.

Tennessee

Memphis city schools are making the transformation from mainframes to the Internet. The states largest school system will move student data to a Web-based database, which will allow the information to be exchanged with other administrative applications more easily and will make the information more accessible to teachers.

Texas

In May, Plano residents will use a combination of old and new technology when they cast their ballots for city and school board elections. Several polling places will be equipped with a new touch-screen system that is being tested by county elections officials. Other residents will use the old punch-card system. This election could be one of the last in which Plano voters cast punch-card ballots. -- The Dallas Morning News

Utah

In February, the state Transit Authority began selling transit passes online. All transit passes, excluding tokens, can be purchased at the site.

Vermont

The state is developing an Advanced Traveler Information System that will offer directions, lodging information and road conditions through the Internet or at welcome center kiosks by this spring. State officials hope that local businesses and community groups will post updates to the planned Web site. -- Rutland Herald

Virginia

The states Department of Health Professions has just made it simpler to find a health-care professional in any area of the state. In February, the department, in partnership with the Virginia Information Providers Network, finished work on the new Internet-based "Licensee Lookup" service.

Washington

Gov. Gary Locke unveiled Washingtons new online business registration Web site in February. Most business owners starting a new business in the state can now obtain licenses, minor work permits and trade-name registration online.

West Virginia

A partnership between K-12 schools and Cisco Systems is giving high school students and adults the opportunity to receive training for jobs in the information technology field. Through Cisco Networking Academies, students learn how to design, build and maintain computer networks.

Wisconsin

In February, Gov. Scott McCallum proposed a new Department of Electronic Government. The new agency would be formed from existing divisions within the Department of Administration and would help incorporate technologies into the workplace and help provide better and more efficient services.

Wyoming

The Laramie County Library Foundation received a donation from a former Cheyenne resident that will lead to the creation of a mobile training lab at the Laramie County Library. The donation includes hardware and software. The lab will consist of 12 laptop computers. Staff will be able to work with students and offer classes to businesses, clubs and organizations on how to use online services. -- Wyoming Tribune Eagle