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2020 ISSUE 2



K ans as G ov. L aur a Ke ll y


CSG Leadership Circle

To learn more about the CSG Associates Program and Leadership Circle, please contact: Maggie Mick, chief advancement officer | p. 859.244.8113 | e. mmick@csg.org


ISSUE 2 / 2020

ON THE COVER Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly walks with Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman. Kelly has provided strong leadership to Kansas through the COVID-19 pandemic. She is the 48th governor of Kansas and the state’s third female governor. Kelly is an advocate of early childhood education and the public health and economic security of the citizens in her community.


As COVID-19 spread across the country, businesses, schools and other industries closed their doors and sent workers home with the hope that many could continue to do their jobs. As teleworking expanded rapidly, technology and security were forced to keep up.

E X PA N D I N G 5 G A N D B R O A D B A N D

Broadband has become increasingly essential in the daily lives of rural and urban citizens. More services are moving online as a result of COVID-19. Learn more about why expanding broadband access is essential and what that means for 5G.

C O V I D - 1 9 I M PA C T S O N R E - E N T R Y The disruption of essential services due to COVID-19 has meant challenges for criminal justice practitioners who help people returning to society from prison or jail. Learn how the CSG Justice Center is assisting in this process.

T H E G R O W I N G R O L E O F T E L E H E A LT H Telehealth services were steadily growing before the global coronavirus pandemic but have exponentially quickened as a result of the need to address minor health issues through social distancing measures. Learn more about the evolution of telehealth and telemedicine.









TECHNOLOGY & COVID-19 / ISSUE 2 / 2020 7 COVID-19 News In Brief Learn how states, economies and industries will change and evolve to survive and succeed in the post-COVID-19 world.

34 Privacy and Cybersecurity in the COVID-19 Era

States share life-saving equipment utilizing the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, an increased reliance on digital tools has increased our risks for cybersecurity attacks and infrastructure failures.

14 Teleworking Through COVID-19 As teleworking expanded rapidly, technology and security were forced to keep up.

16 The State of Artificial Intelligence in 2020

As the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence emerge, learn more about what AI looks like in 2020 and where we expect it to expand.

20 Expanding 5G and Broadband More services are moving online as a result of COVID-19. Learn more about why expanding broadband access is essential and what that means for 5G.

24 CSG Joins Partners to








54 REGIONAL ROUNDUP | east 55 REGIONAL ROUNDUP | midwest 56 REGIONAL ROUNDUP | south 57 REGIONAL ROUNDUP | west 60 FINAL FACTS | famous inventions

37 Technology Trends for 2020 The National Association of State Chief Information Officers provides guidance on the technology trends for the year.

38 The Growing Role of


Telehealth services have exponentially quickened to address minor health issues through social distancing measures.

42 The Tech Divide Among Generations

Five generations are currently interacting in the workplace, creating a challenge for employers of the most age-diverse workforce in history.

Advocate for Broadband

45 A Look into the Gig Economy

CSG joined a coalition of state and local government leadership associations to urge Congress to invest in nationwide broadband infrastructure.

More than a quarter of U.S. workers are involved in the gig economy in some way, but these growing industries present unique challenges.

25 Smart Cities Help Governments

46 Leveraging Innovation and

With the help of 5G, smart city technology allows for connectivity and communication that can help governments improve quality of life.

26 Fact vs. Fiction: Technology of the Future F E AT U R E S

The CSG Justice Center is assisting criminal justice practitioners help people return to society from prison or jail.

12 EMAC Allows Sharing of Ventilators


31 COVID-19 Impacts on Re-Entry

Pop culture painted a detailed picture of what artificial intelligence was supposed to look like in the future, but what do these technologies really look like in 2020?

28 Asked & Answered with Gov. Laura Kelly

Serving as the CSG national president, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers our questions about her dedication to public service.

30 Impact of Technology

Emerging Technology

The CSG Healthy States National Task Force subcommittee is examining how innovations will impact health care in years to come.

48 Smart Government Streamlines Services

The CSG Future of Work National Task Force subcommittee is working to solve challenges presented by new technologies and to streamline government services.

50 CSG Associates Support Latest Technology CSG private sector partners are working to research, develop and promote the next great technologies to benefit communities across the U.S.

on Criminal Justice

58 Words from our Members

New technologies are helping law enforcement officers better protect communities across the U.S.

Hear from members about the valuable services provided by CSG.

contributing SIERRA HATFIELD writers Policy Analyst

publisher DAVID ADKINS



editor-in-chief KELLEY ARNOLD




managing editor BLAIR HESS


CSG West Programs & Communications Manager emiller@csg.org

associate editor JOEL SAMS



digital editor NAVJI DIXON

Membership Assistant mrobertson@csg.org





National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Executive Director tsheets@csg.org






Copyright 2020 by The Council of State Governments.


graphic designers THERESA CARROLL

Mailing lists are available for rent upon approval of a sample mailing. Contact the sales department at (800) 800-1910.

CSG South/SLC Policy Analyst rmoore@csg.org


CAPITOL IDEAS, ISSN 2152-8489, ISSUE 2, Vol. 65, No. 1 – Published by The Council of State Governments, 1776 Avenue of the States, Lexington, KY 40511-8536. Opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Council of State Governments nor the views of the editorial staff. Readers’ comments are welcome. Subscription rates: in the U.S., $42 per year. Single issues are available at $7 per copy. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Capitol Ideas, Sales Department, The Council of State Governments, 1776 Avenue of the States, Lexington, KY 40511-8536. Periodicals postage paid at Lexington, Ky., and additional mailing offices.


SEAN SLONE Senior Policy Analyst sslone@csg.org

contributing MICHAEL CLARK writers CSG Justice Center


Director of Communications and External Affairs mclark@csg.org

National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Director of Policy & Research mward@NASCIO.org



Policy Analyst vgrossl@csg.org

Policy Analyst bwhisman@csg.org

Rep. Joan Ballweg

Sen. Sharon Carson

KANSAS CSG National President

WISCONSIN CSG National Chair


David Adkins

Wendell M. Hannaford


CSG EAST DIRECTOR whannaford@csg.org

Rep. Lucy McVitty Weber NEW HAMPSHIRE CSG East Co-Chair

Sen. Ken Horn MICHIGAN CSG Midwest Chair

House Speaker Tim Moore

Sen. Michael Von Flatern



Michael H. McCabe

Colleen Cousineau

Edgar Ruiz

CSG MIDWEST DIRECTOR mmccabe@csg.org

CSG SOUTH DIRECTOR fitzgerald@csg.org

CSG WEST DIRECTOR eruiz@csg.org


Gov. Laura Kelly


what’s happening at csg



CSG Launches COVID-19 Website with Resources for State Leaders In March, CSG launched its online COVID-19 Resources for State Leaders. This website tracks and provides daily updates to state executive orders, cases and other COVID-19 statistics, state-by-state regulations, schedules of legislative sessions and special sessions, and resources for state legislatures, state courts and elections. The website also features a blog, which highlights various efforts by states and CSG Associates to combat the novel coronavirus and provides policy analysis on issues impacting communities across the country. Learn more at web.csg.org/COVID19.

Apply Today for the Inaugural 20 Under 40 Leadership Program SSL Committee Now Accepting Legislation for Consideration The CSG Shared State Legislation (SSL) Committee is currently accepting submissions for the 2021 docket cycle. The SSL Committee accepts legislation submissions from state officials and their staff, CSG Associates (private sector members) and CSG staff. It will consider legislation from other sources, but only when that legislation is submitted through a state official. The committee, led by North Dakota state Rep. Kim Koppelman, Connecticut state Rep. Kevin Ryan, and Jerry Bassett, director of the Legislative Reference Service, will convene at the 2020 CSG National Conference in Santa Fe in December, where members will review submitted legislation and vote for inclusion in SSL Volume 80. To learn more about SSL or to submit a bill, email ssl@csg.org.


CSG Regional Meetings and Henry Toll Fellowship Cancelled or Virtual


The four CSG regional meetings of CSG East/Eastern Regional Conference, CSG Midwest/Midwestern Legislative Conference, CSG South/Southern Legislative Conference and CSG West have cancelled in-person sessions for 2020 out of an abundance of caution and respect for our members through the COVID-19 global pandemic. CSG West will host a virtual meeting, with more details available at csgwest.org. The annual Henry Toll Fellowship has been cancelled. Applications for the 2021 program—to be held Aug. 20-24, 2021 in Lexington, Kentucky—will open in November. If you have questions about these cancellations, visit csg.org or contact membership@csg.org.

In 2018, 700 millennial candidates ran in the approximately 6,000 state legislative races. Younger leaders increasingly play a major role in state capitols. Recognizing their notable accomplishments and achievements, CSG has launched its 20 Under 40 recognition program. CSG leaders will choose 20 award recipients through an application process. All recipients will be 40 years of age or younger. The award recipients will be up-and-coming elected and appointed officials from across the country who demonstrate the ability to work across the aisle in meaningful ways to advance the common good, and who have shown a true commitment to serving the citizens of their state/territory. Examples of this work may include bipartisan legislation, task force leadership or leading a special state initiative. To apply or to nominate someone for the 20 Under 40 recognition, visit web.csg.org/20-40. Applications are due July 10, 2020.

Sign Up for The Current State for Weekly Updates and Resources in Your Inbox The Current State e-newsletter sends member stories, state successes, the latest policy trends, news from CSG and more to more than 20,000 subscribers each week to keep members and industry partners up-to-date and connected. Now, more than ever, it is important to stay connected. We know you are busy, so we’re making it easier than ever to access resources and special digitalonly content from CSG. To sign up to receive this weekly newsletter in your email inbox, visit csg.org/subscribe.

they tweeted it

THEY T WEETED IT Governor Kristi Noem @govkristinoem • Apr 22, 2020 South Dakotans are going a good job to slow the spread of #COVID19. We aren't out of the woods yet, but we will get through this together.

Governor Tony Evers @GovEvers • Apr 23, 2020 Folks, this isn’t like flipping a switch. We need to continue to protect our healthcare system from being overwhelmed and build up the tools to manage this virus, so we can turn the dial and reopen our economy. #BadgerBounceBack #COVID19

Governor Andy Beshear @GovAndyBeshear • Apr 23, 2020 #COVID19 is a test of our humanity, and #TeamKentucky is passing that test. You have made the sacrifices. Now we are planning & showing patience as we prepare for the 'new normal.' Next we must show perseverance. I know we will get through this together. #TogetherKy

Governor Eric Holcomb @GovHolcomb • Apr 22, 2020 Nearly 170,000 doctors and nurses across #Indiana are dedicating their time to save lives and fight against the spread of #COVID19. Thank you to all of our Hoosier healthcare professionals. We are #INthistogether.

Governor Tim Walz @GovTimWalz • Apr 25, 2020 For our healthcare professionals, going to work each day means facing this pandemic head-on. We cannot take their heroic work for granted. #MNStrong #StayHomeMN

Governor Kate Brown @OregonGovBrown • Apr 24, 2020 One small silver lining of this COVID-19 pandemic is that we've seen how telehealth can provide safe, efficient & effective health care. As non-urgent procedures resume, know that many of Oregon's medical providers can continue to provide you with excellent care remotely.

Michelle Lujan Grisham @GovMLG • Apr 24, 2020 If you're struggling with your mental health, especially during this particularly difficult and stressful time, the state of New Mexico is here for you. You are not alone, and we are here to support you.

Gov. Gary Herbert @GovHerbert • Apr 24, 2020 We can control our destiny and protect our loved ones. Maintaining our strong trajectory depends on you and your continued efforts to stay safe and stay home. Stay strong. There is a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel.


Governor Phil Scott @GovPhilScott • Apr 13, 2020 Many Americans before us, like those who served in World War II, sacrificed for future generations. Now, it’s our turn to sacrifice for our fellow Vermonters and keep up our social distancing efforts - which are saving many lives. It’s important we don’t let off the gas just yet.

Governor Phil Murphy @GovMurphy • Apr 27, 2020 Let’s do this together. Let’s start by lowering the curve. We can do this if we all keep focus over the coming weeks. We will reach our destination–a New Jersey that is restored to economic health because we took the steps to restore, and secure, our collective health.


technology and COVID-19

TOGETHER WE DO BETTER Much has changed in the last 100 days. A fast-moving pandemic swept the globe leaving illness and death in its wake. The extraordinary steps taken to mitigate the spread of the virus decimated the economy and with it, state budgets. These crises laid bare systemic racial disparities that exist in our economy and in our health care system. George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer ignited a world-wide movement to protest racism, police violence and the injustices faced by Black Americans. The convergence of these events has challenged state governments in unprecedented ways. The pandemic is far from over, the economy will take years to recover and systemic racism will not be eradicated by the enactment of police reforms alone, but there are lessons already learned which can be harvested from this seismic disruption.


Citizens confronted with this health emergency turned to their governors and state public health officials as essential sources of information. Governors across the country became the leaders people looked to for reassurance, hope and direction. As a result of the courageous and decisive actions of governors, at least one study has estimated as many as 60 million coronavirus cases were prevented. Most Americans eagerly complied with stay at home orders and practiced hand washing and social distancing because they trusted the guidance issued by their state government leaders.


Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, featured on the cover of this issue, was among the governors hailed for her leadership in a time of crisis. She was the first governor in America to cancel in-person classes in public schools, and she took decisive action when outbreaks occurred in meat packing plants in her state. Together with her Secretary of Health and Environment Dr. Lee Norman (pictured with the governor on our cover), Gov. Kelly relied on science, data and expertise to guide her decisions. She knew the trust Kansans placed in her had nothing to do with partisan politics and everything to do with empathy, consistency and competency with the goal of serving the greater good. We are fortunate to have Gov. Kelly serving as the 2020 CSG national president. The governors of America demonstrated remarkable leadership amidst massive uncertainty. Their success is a reflection of both their experience and character. We also know gubernatorial partnerships with legislators, local officials, federal partners and the thousands of dedicated professionals who staff state government agencies continue to produce positive results. In state after state we saw the “laboratories of democracy” come to life as each state tailored its response to fit its priorities and unique

characteristics. It would be hard to identify an aspect of life inside or outside of state capitols that was left untouched. Health care, elections, education, employment security, corrections, taxation, drug development and discovery, long-term care, child care, campaigns, emergency response, budget cuts, transportation, accommodation of people living with disabilities, virtual sessions of legislative bodies, economic development, legislative oversight, job creation, broadband connectivity, judicial proceedings, public health and equity are but a few of the issue areas upended by the pandemic. That’s a big agenda for state leaders, but I am proud to report that CSG continues to respond to the needs of the states in real time. Although our 240 staff members began working remotely in March, we remain focused on connecting legislators, executive branch officials and judges to each other and to the information they need to transform their states. Our four regional offices and the CSG Justice Center have pivoted programing to be responsive to the priorities of state officials. And while many of our in-person programs have been canceled in order to protect public health, CSG has deployed many new and creative ways to engage our members. For example, we created special COVID-19 resources on the CSG website that quickly became and remain the “go-to” resource on executive orders issued by governors in response to the pandemic. Our advocacy work in Washington, D.C., has been focused on working with the White House and Congressional leadership to help craft a federal response that serves the needs of the states. This issue of Capitol Ideas is being distributed digitally. We scrapped the print edition when it became clear that our staff and many of the recipients of this magazine would be working remotely. In these pages you will find the same compelling stories and insights you have come to expect from this publication, but we hope you will enjoy the convenience of reading it on your computer or tablet. As always, we welcome your thoughts, advice and feedback on this and future issues of Capitol Ideas. The Council of State Governments was founded in 1933, the worst year of the Great Depression. State officials created CSG to forge meaningful and lasting connections between the states and the people who govern them. The events of the past 100 days remind us again of what CSG’s founders knew then, when the states come together, we all do better. Do Good. Be Well.


Executive Director/CEO

impacts of COVID-19

News-In-Brief Discover the Wide-Spread Impact of COVID-19

Contributors include: Michael Clark, Vanessa Grossl, Sierra Hatfield, Casandra Hockenberry, Dina Klimkina, Taylor Lansdale, Sean Slone, James Tatum and Brandy Whisman.

As the COVID-19 pandemic reached and spread through the U.S., communities, states, economies and industries of all types were impacted by the outbreak. Here are some areas that were affected and how each will change and evolve to survive and succeed in the future.

USPS Service Disruptions Impact Upcoming Elections

Per UOCAVA, blank ballots must be transmitted to a voter at least 45 days before an election. States must also make available an option for electronic transmission of election materials, including a blank ballot. If a voter does not request electronic transmission of their blank ballot,

Military mail is returned to the U.S. via the USPS in concert with Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office operations. The military and diplomatic postal operations transport military and diplomatic mail to commercial airlines and cargo planes. The USPS then takes responsibility for delivery. With a widespread decrease in commercial air travel, it is unclear what effect this lack of transportation will have on military ballots. Overseas voters can drop their ballots at embassies for transmission through Diplomatic Pouch, but many voters aren’t within a reasonable proximity to an embassy. Also, for security reasons, mail coming into an embassy is often put through rigorous security testing. This testing can cause damage to the election materials that results in Local Election Officials rejecting the ballot per state statutory requirements. State election officials are working against the clock to adopt alternate options in light of COVID-19-related global mail disruptions. State and local election officials should contact their UOCAVA voters to educate them on the availability of electronic blank ballot transmission. States should also continue to educate these voters about shifting deadlines.

To learn more, contact Taylor Lansdale at tlansdale@csg.org.


On April 24, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued an alert listing service suspension around the world as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. These suspensions come as election officials are grappling with the implications of COVID-19 stateside — with many states delaying election dates and/or expanding their absentee voting rules. Twenty states only allow for ballot return by mail for voters who fall under the protection of the Uniformed & Overseas Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), a federal law that covers voting rights for active-duty military and their families as well as U.S. citizens residing overseas. If these suspensions continue throughout the year, many voters may be left without a way to return their ballots.

many states will only supply voters with a copy via postal mail. Most states allow for some form of electronic submission of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which can be used by military and overseas voters to both register to vote and to request a blank ballot. However, the method of transmission of a voted ballot or Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot is decided by the state in which the voter is registered.


technology and COVID-19

Preparing People for Reentry – A Checklist for Correctional Facilities Now, more than ever, as communities work to quickly reduce correctional populations in response to the COVID19 pandemic, it can be easy for jails and prisons to miss steps that ensure safety of employees and the people who are returning to their communities. The CSG Justice Center created a legal-sized checklist as a guide for reentry planning during this critical time.

Access this document on the web at


csgjusticecenter.org/publications/ preparing-people-for-reentry


New Analysis Shows Surge of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Inside State Prisons Conservative estimates show that rates of COVID-19 cases among people incarcerated in state prisons and prison staff are more than three-and-a-half times higher than that of the general public, according to a new analysis by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. As of May 3, 2020, coronavirus cases among people currently incarcerated in state prisons were more than 3.75 times higher than the rate of the general population, while cases involving corrections staff were 3.33 times higher than the general population. The rate of confirmed infections among incarcerated people and prison staff was similar to that of the general population early in the pandemic, but then began to outpace the rest of the country quickly. Prison staff started testing positive at a higher rate in the first week of April before a large jump in confirmed positive cases among people incarcerated in prisons, which started to grow more rapidly the following week. These disproportionate rates are part of a surge in cases and deaths reported by corrections officials over the last month. The number of positive COVID-19 cases was 27 times higher on May 3 than on April 3, and the number of confirmed deaths was 46 times higher on May 3 than a month prior. This analysis is part of an ongoing effort by the CSG Justice Center to analyze the data, identify trends and develop tools to help states understand and respond to the virus in their prisons. To learn more about this analysis, visit csgjusticecenter.org/ new-analysis-shows-surge-of-covid-19-cases-and-deaths-inside-state-prisons.

The Impact on Higher Education: Can Colleges Survive COVID-19? There is growing concern for the future of higher education in the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic forced colleges and universities to shut down campuses for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, move classes online, consider cutting staff and, in some cases, temporarily suspend admissions. With many states expected to have to cut budgets in the months and years ahead and with a return to campus this fall far from a sure thing, some are suggesting many insti-

impacts of COVID-19 tutions may not survive. But the pandemic is just one factor hastening a trend of the last few years. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 218 U.S. higher education institutions closed in 2018, impacting some 100,000 enrolled students. The Bipartisan Policy Center notes that many of the high-profile closures in recent years have occurred at large for-profit college chains but many small, private nonprofit colleges have also felt the squeeze. Lower enrollments due to changing demographics and a decrease in the number of international students — something that coronavirus travel restrictions seems likely to intensify — were projected to drive increases in the closure rate even before the pandemic. Institutions are feeling the squeeze this year because the coronavirus has shut down nearly all the major revenue sources they survive on—tuition, room and board, activity fees and charitable giving. The problems at already struggling campuses could get much worse if they aren’t able to open up in the fall and if, as expected, financially strapped state governments enact substantial cuts down the road. Complicating matters for colleges and universities is the continuing uncertainty produced by the coronavirus. That uncertainty may be prompting many students to consider other plans for the fall. According to a survey commissioned by the American Council on Education and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, nearly one in five currently enrolled U.S. college students of more than 2,000 surveyed said they were either uncertain about plans to re-enroll in the fall or planned not to go back. With the possibility of the ongoing pandemic persisting, students could be facing a major change to college life as they know it. If classes move online more permanently and the campus life elements aren’t available, many students will see a learning environment they don’t like and could decide to opt out.

CSG Joins 11 Partners in Urging Congress to Support Funding for Cybersecurity In late April, CSG joined 11 partner organizations in signing a letter to Congressional leadership asking for the inclusion of direct funding to states, territories and localities specifically for addressing cybersecurity and IT infrastructure needs due to the global impact of COVID-19. Cybersecurity refers to the measures taken to secure electronic data and systems against criminal attacks, including malware (software intentionally designed to cause damage), phishing (sending emails purporting to be from a reputable source in order to gain individuals’ personal information), spear phishing (a form of phishing that targets specific individuals), denial-of-service attack (an attack where a machine or network resource is made unavailable) and more.

“COVID-19 has required our workforces, educational systems and general way of life to quickly move remotely, exerting greater pressure on cybersecurity and IT professionals and increasing the risk of vulnerabilities and gaps to state and local networks,” CSG and its partners wrote in the letter

This letter requested Congress authorize and fully fund a dedicated cybersecurity program to help states, territories and localities develop and implement innovative and effective cybersecurity practices for remote work, help to build resources and human capital, better detect, analyze and protect against cyber threats and help to enhance partnerships among different levels of government. To keep up with the latest analysis on issues impacting communities due to COVID-19, visit web.csg.org/COVID19.

Ensuring Equitable Access for Students with Disabilities Through Distance Learning Across the country, schools transitioned to distance learning options in response to the widespread outbreak of COVID-19. All 50 states took measures to close all public elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools, and students moved to online learning at least for a period of time. While schools are closing out the semesters now, administrators are looking ahead to the fall semester and making plans for how young people will return to the classroom. Federal Law — The Americans with Disabilities Act — prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires educators to ensure provision of educational services if a student has an individualized education program (IEP) or is receiving services under Section 504. Unless closed to all students, schools are required to provide the same level of accessibility to online educational resources, regardless of disability status. The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued a legal framework, a context for accessibility in distance learning, resources for teachers and other assistance to schools. Equal accessibility is achieved when students with disabilities can learn material, interact with peers and engage in the same programs and activities as easily as their non-disabled peers. Those resources are available via webinar at this link: bit.ly/36cd2lE. Educational institutions are encouraged to routinely test the accessibility of their online activities by using a combination of automated checkers that assess the code of the website as well as manual checking to ensure that nothing was missed. The Office of Civil Rights warns that automated checkers may be unable to recognize that a student cannot use a mouse, instead relying on a keyboard to access online resources. For this reason, supplemental manual testing should be conducted by individuals who have the tools to recognize and address such issues. Schools are urged to consider all varieties of disabilities along with the tools and technology used to participate. The Office of Civil Rights has created fact sheets for further reference and guidance to educators and states as both plan for how lessons will be delivered in the fall. Those can be accessed at bit.ly/2zOQOdr and bit.ly/3gdiDwX. Contact Dina Klimkina at CSG for more information: dklimkina@csg.org.


In most companies and businesses, there are internal cybersecurity steps that are taken to stop these types of attacks. However, due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are seeding unprecedented levels of teleworking, including increased use of telemedicine services. Suddenly, these systems are significantly more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

to Congressional leaders. “These gaps are exacerbated by systems requiring modernization that do not foster remote work, which also increases the risks to employees supporting these systems.”


technology and COVID-19

Unemployment Benefits Made Available to Gig Economy Workers for the First Time The number of workers who participate in alternative work environments has risen substantially over the past decade — before many more were forced to do so as a result of COVID-19. Millions of Americans are now considered “gig economy” workers, often utilizing technology to facilitate services or micro-tasks delivered on demand. Most of these workers file taxes using 1099 forms, making them traditionally ineligible for unemployment insurance programs in their states. However, under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, unemployment insurance benefits cover gig economy workers and self-employed workers who have been deemed eligible to apply for business aid through Paycheck Protection Program loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. There is still contention surrounding how the gig economy is actually defined, which has caused difficulty when attempting to capture an accurate number of gig economy jobs. The Federal Reserve’s 2017 Survey of Household Economics and Decision-making found that 31% of adults engaged in some form of gig work in the previous month. The study included work conducted offline and potentially unrecorded, such as babysitting, grass cutting or house cleaning. More recent data reported by Forbes shows that up to 36% of U.S. workers, or approximately 57 million people, are participating in the gig economy in some way, with 29% engaging in gig economy work as their primary job. Some of the ambiguity with defining the gig economy, measuring the data and determining who counts in this category has gotten in the way of freelancers who have sought access to the benefits included with the CARES Act. Since federal lawmakers approved this historic expansion to unemployment benefits on March 27, boosting weekly checks by $600, adding 13 weeks of benefits and creating a new pandemic unemployment assistance program to cover certain people affected by the outbreak, many are wondering whether these reliefs will have lasting impacts on the future of benefits post-pandemic. The Aspen Institute released a resource guide for policymakers on designing portable benefits. It is available at this web address: bit.ly/2XbMYmN.


States including Washington and New Jersey are already considering portable and expanded benefits structures for their evolving workforces. The year ahead will bring scheduled increases in minimum wages for 24 states, and laws aimed at protecting workers from noncompetition agreements imposed by employers advanced in a handful of states this year. Additionally, a number of states are expanding overtime salary thresholds. More states could explore creating portable benefits funds so workers with multiple employers have access to retirement, paid time off and other benefits to meet the needs of the future of work


States Form Pacts to Coordinate Economic Response to COVID-19 In April, three groups of states announced their intentions to coordinate their responses to economic shutdowns caused by COVID-19. On the west coast, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington published a press release indicating that they would identify “clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business.” In the northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts announced a similar agreement to create a framework of guidelines to “gradually lift the states’ stay at home orders

while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.” Shortly after those groups, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin followed, issuing a press release outlining their goals for a regional economic plan during the current pandemic

Northeastern Pact | CT, DE, NJ, PA, RI, MA The Northeastern pact plans to convene a multi-state council comprised of a health expert, an economic development expert and the chiefs of staff from each state included in the pact. These participants will develop guidelines to slowly reopen the economies of the participating states to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 infections. On May 3, the Northeastern pact governors announced the development of a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing supplies. The seven states in the pact will “work together to identify the entire region’s needs for these products, aggregate demand among the states, reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain,” according to Delaware Gov. John Carney. The states will develop a plan to allocate medical supply inventories so they will be prepared for a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections and coordinated policies will be put in place for supply distribution to first responders. “One thing that’s undeniable is that this virus does not stop at the border of any county, state or country, but the impact is the same when it comes to our respective economies and healthcare systems,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. After plans for medical supply distribution are in place, the Northeastern pact will identify suppliers within the U.S. who can meet the demand of the entire region for the next three months.

Midwestern Pact | IL, IN, KY, OH, MI, MN, WI Less than 24 hours after Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the state was working in conjunction with its neighboring Indiana and Ohio, it was announced that the three states would join with Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois to coordinate efforts to reopen state economies. In a joint press release, the governors said, “we recognize that our economies are all reliant on each other, and we must work together to safely reopen them so hardworking people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet.” The rate of reopening will be based on the following four factors: • Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations • Enhanced ability to test and trace •Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence • Best practices for social distancing in the workplace

Western Pact | CA, OR, WA California, Oregon and Washington issued a joint press release that emphasized that the three west coast states are home to one in six Americans and serve as a major trade and travel hub. The states are basing decisions to reopen on health outcomes and data. Modifications to stay at home orders will be informed by the impact of COVID-19 on communities, the health impact of measures to control the spread of the disease and the capacity of health care systems to care for anyone in need of medical attention. Each state has individual plans for reopening their economies, but metrics will be developed to coordinate as a region. The states have agreed on a set of four goals to control the virus, including: • Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. • Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.

impacts of COVID-19

• Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities. • Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.

All Aspects of Transportation Industry to See Long-Term Effects from Pandemic

The CEO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), one of the agencies requesting additional aid, said they expect a $380 million deficit over the next five years as farebox and sales tax revenues have plummeted and the agency has absorbed additional costs from the purchase of masks, gloves and cleaning supplies as well as emergency sick leave. The New York subway system is among the systems facing the dual challenges of trying to reassure riders by disinfecting trains and stations daily at an enormous cost and keeping employees safe as well, Route Fifty reported.

In addition to public transit, many states continue to report disruptions in transportation projects as they face budgetary challenges in the wake of the pandemic. Citing a $1 billion hole in the budget for construction and maintenance, multimodal projects and local governments, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced it would delay new construction and downgrade resurfacing to patching and sealing as state highway workers get back to work following a pandemic shutdown. The Iowa Department of Transportation announced it could delay some road projects over the next five years as the state faces reduced gas tax collections due to motorists driving less. Missouri is reportedly facing a 30% decline in state transportation revenues over the next 18 months amounting to approximately $925 million. Reduced funding for road repairs comes at a particularly bad time nationwide as well. According to a new report from TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research nonprofit, the rural road transportation system around the country faces a $211 billion backlog in needed improvements. Learn more about how the transportation industry is being impacted with further analysis on the CSG COVID-19 blog: bit.ly/2zepsgV.


From public transit, road construction and auto manufacturing to walking and biking, the coronavirus pandemic has made significant impacts in transportation that could change the ways Americans travel for years to come. Public transit agencies, which received $25 billion in funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, are calling on Congress to include $33 billion more in the next COVID-19 aid package. Most transit systems have seen drastically lower ridership and face an uncertain future between ongoing social distancing and hard-hit state budgets. A report from consulting firm EBP US Inc. suggests transit agencies will need $23.8 billion in emergency aid just to deal with fallout from the pandemic.

Expanded transit service could become another casualty of the pandemic in some places. Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack suggested recently the commonwealth consider slowing down a planned upgrade to the commuter rail system, according to CommonWealth magazine. Commuter rail systems, which carry suburban workers to urban jobs, have been the hardest hit form of public transportation during the pandemic, City Lab noted recently, and some have suggested they might never recover.


technology and COVID-19

Working Together During COVID-19, states share lifesaving medical equipment through EMAC As COVID-19 spread through communities across the U.S. in the past few months, it quickly became apparent that there would be a shortage of vital supplies including personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators in hospitals that would inevitably be hit hard by the pandemic. States needed to work together to save lives. California announced in early April that it would share lifesaving ventilators with at least six states, including New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, Nevada and the District of Columbia. These ventilators — owned by California — were available to be loaned through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a nationally adopted mutual aid agreement managed by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). Through EMAC, states have been able to share ventilators, PPE and public health incident management teams. States commonly utilize EMAC to share resources with each other during emergencies and disasters, but mutual aid in response to COVID-19 has been limited. “States have been understandably hesitant to share health and medical personnel, equipment and supplies because of the critical need to have those resources immediately available to take care of their own citizens,” said Trina Sheets, executive director of NEMA. “As some states start to turn the corner, we hope they’ll be able to help others who are nearing or may not have reached their projected peak of coronavirus cases.”


EMAC can also be utilized by states to expand their health care capacity by allowing physicians to treat patients in other states, both in-person and virtually. This is possible because the law provides protections for tort liability and licensure reciprocity. To learn more about EMAC for telehealth and for a template for a governor’s executive order that NEMA developed for use, visit emacweb.org/index.php/resources/best-practices/ using-emac-for-telehealth.


“During this unprecedented time in our country’s history, I’m proud to see states are utilizing EMAC to request and provide needed resources,” said Joyce Flinn, EMAC committee chair and director of Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “A sincere thank you to all EMAC members for the great work you are doing in your state and for reaching out across the nation.”

During this unprecedented time in our country’s history, I’m proud to see states are utilizing EMAC to request and provide needed resources.”

— JOYCE FLINN EMAC committee chair and director of Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management

responding to COVID-19

NEMA Aggregates Stateby-State Response Data

About EMAC Established in 1996, EMAC was ratified by Congress and signed into law. It is the first national disaster-relief compact to be ratified by Congress since the Civil Defense Compact of 1950. All members must pass state legislation approving their participation in EMAC. The compact is administered by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). For more information, contact EMAC Program Director Angela Copple at acopple@csg.org, or visit emacweb.org.

NEMA partnered with the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC Global), an applied research center funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and managed by the University of Hawaii, to provide state COVID-19 emergency measures content on the Global DisasterAWARE website. This important information helps state leaders and government support agencies navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and provides visibility on where other states stand in their response and mitigation efforts. To learn more, visit pdc.org and select “Enter Public Site.”

About NEMA


The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association dedicated to enhancing public safety by improving the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from all emergencies, disasters and threats to our nation’s security. NEMA is the professional association of and for emergency management directors from all 50 states, eight U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. For more information, contact NEMA Executive Director Trina Sheets at tsheets@csg.org, or visit nemaweb.org.



technology and COVID-19



teleworking in the time of COVID-19

Telework and telecommuting offer opportunities to keep employees — and students — at work through COVID-19. by Sierra Hatfield From schools to supply chains to the workforce, COVID19 has upended life as we know it — or knew it. For the foreseeable future, several aspects of our day-to-day lives have changed, including how we work. In addition to determining what is considered an essential business versus what isn’t, states face another formidable challenge: giving citizens the support they need to keep working whenever and wherever possible. One potential solution to keep citizens working is to offer telecommuting or telework. Many private businesses already give their employees the means to telework, but states as a governing body can play a bigger role when it comes to expanding alternative work arrangements for citizens who traditionally may not have had the ability to do so. Wisconsin issued an advisory allowing government bodies to conduct meetings via phone as long as the public was still given access to tune in. Wisconsin took the recommendation a step further, urging these bodies to ensure that the meetings are accessible to all. This means the state must be mindful of those whose condition may prevent them from fully enjoying the broadcast, such as people who are hard of hearing. Wisconsin provides just one example of state leaders navigating their own teleworking style and ensuring that citizens still have transparent access to government affairs during the pandemic. Traditionally, government business didn’t — or couldn’t — effectively telework, and some other professions are no exception. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine sought to change that when he signed an executive order allowing counselors, family counselors and social workers the ability to telework without the need for excessive formal training. New Jersey issued similar guidelines in March for state agencies to implement telework policies, flexible scheduling and to temporarily re-designate employee

assignments and responsibilities as needed for as long as New Jersey is under a state of emergency. These are two examples of states extending telework policies as an option to keep people working during a time when more than 26.5 million Americans are out of work. But is it enough to consider the effects that COVID-19 has on just the workplace? The pandemic has also altered how many receive their education, and telecommuting remains a viable option for some of the challenges that social distancing has posed for students. For example, in addition to introducing a new statewide telework policy in February, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed two executive orders in March that help students and teachers stay online. Executive Order 122 allowed donation or transfer of state surplus property to help schools respond to COVID-19, specifically including computers and other resources which may help distanced learning. Additionally, Cooper signed an order that prohibited telecommunications companies from shutting off amenities such as phone and internet service due to lack of payment during the pandemic. The North Carolina Association of Educators applauded the state’s efforts to keep students online in response. COVID-19 is a not-so-gentle reminder that technology and connectivity can help employers, employees, students and teachers alike manage risks. Research institutions are already calling for more focus on America’s flimsy broadband infrastructure as data demands rise and new peaks in connections become the new average. Some even speculate that telework is here to stay as we invest so much time and resources into improving our situation and changing our habits; why wouldn’t we continue on this path in a post-pandemic world? Only time will tell just how much COVID-19 will permanently shape how we work. Until then, states are fighting to keep citizens on the job — whether that be in the office or on the couch. ISSUE 2 2020 | CAPITOL IDEAS

COVID-19 is a not-so-gentle reminder that technology and connectivity can help employers, employees, students and teachers alike manage risks.


technology and COVID-19

by Sean Slone

Exploring Artificial Intelligence AI has incredible potential in health care for diagnostics and treatment What is artificial intelligence?


Created by the state legislature in 2019, the Vermont Artificial Intelligence Task Force issued its final report in January. The state became one of the first to weigh in on the potential benefits and risks of a technology that is many things to many different sectors. The report cites a definition of artificial intelligence (AI) that comes from an expert group set up by the European Commission:


“Artificial intelligence systems are systems (usually software) capable of perceiving an environment through data acquisition and then processing and interpreting the derived information to take action(s) or imitate intelligent behavior given a specified goal,” the definition reads. “AI systems can also learn/adapt their behavior by analyzing how the environment is affected by prior actions.” The Vermont task force recognized that AI is already impacting major sectors of the state’s economy, including agriculture and natural resources, transportation and manufacturing, law enforcement, government and services and health care. “In health care, artificial intelligence applications already examine patient X-ray and skin images to advise health professionals on whether particular areas warrant closer examination for the presence of cancer,” the panel’s report said.

AI applications are also used to process large volumes of patient data to optimize the diagnosis and care of patients and to better map the efficacy of medical therapies, the report noted. While recognizing the importance of AI to medicine and other sectors, as well as its potential impacts on labor, civil liberties and other areas, the task force ultimately decided not to recommend new state regulations of AI at this time, but to recommend a permanent AI commission to study and monitor its development. “We didn’t have enough information … and our conclusion is that we needed a longer term committee, something that could also delve more deeply into different areas that might look at regulation,” said Eugene Santos Jr., a professor of engineering at Dartmouth College in neighboring New Hampshire, who was appointed by the Vermont House of Representatives to serve on the task force. States like Alabama, New York and Washington have all established AI task forces or commissions that are in various stages of their discussions. Santos believes they can learn much from Vermont’s experience. “What we went through, I think the majority of the other states and organizations will also have to go through the same thing in just getting the landscape,” he said.

artificial intelligence in 2020

What is Artificial Intelligence in Health Care?

“As I usually encounter it, (AI is) a marketing strategy masquerading as a technology,” he said. “That’s a little facetious. Ultimately, my definition of AI is that it’s the next impossible thing that a computer is about to do. It’s a very, very old term. It comes to us from the 60s when the first perceptron algorithms were created, and really, it’s kind of a grab-all term or bucket term for things that are slightly beyond what normal computers are doing at any given time.” Jackson is also quick to point out what AI is not.

This year’s coronavirus outbreak has provided a significant proving ground for AI in many respects. Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to track the outbreak and to forecast how it would spread. Predictive analytics have been used to predict which COVID-19 patients would experience the most severe symptoms. Deep learning algorithms have been put to work finding new information about the structure of proteins associated with COVID-19 and speeding up drug research. Health care facilities and others have also deployed algorithms to manage the scheduling and logistical challenges presented by the epidemic and to deploy personnel and resources where they have been most needed.


Edmund Jackson knows a bit about what AI means in the context of health care. He’s the chief data officer at HCA Healthcare, the Nashville-based for-profit operator of 185 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. HCA Healthcare is partnering with and advising CSG’s Healthy States National Task Force this year.

“We have a lot of machine learning that goes on in health care,” he said. “There are a lot of rules and clinical decision support, but in terms of computers speaking or acting or seeing at the level of a human, I don’t really think it exists. […] There’s a lot in the press and the literature about computers making diagnoses. We don’t have that. For us at HCA Healthcare, the very clear thing is the provider makes the diagnosis. The provider is the locus of action and decision making. Computers can provide support in that in terms of using algorithms to fuse data together to better inform or to bring things together in a timely fashion.”


technology and COVID-19

… Ultimately, my definition of AI is that it’s the next impossible thing that a computer is about to do. It’s a very, very old term. It comes to us from the 60s when the first perceptron algorithms were created, and really, it’s kind of a grab-all term or bucket term for things that are slightly beyond what normal computers are doing at any given time.” Edmund Jackson, chief data officer for HCA Healthcare

Creating the Algorithms That Drive Artificial Intelligence It's in the design of algorithms—the processes or sets of rules that tell a computer how to calculate and solve problems—that some of the biggest challenges for artificial intelligence come into play. For one thing, many of the health care algorithms used today are being designed by tech companies that aren’t actually in the business of providing health care, Jackson said. Another concern is that algorithms—and the data they process—can often take on the biases of the humans deploying them. “Honestly, it’s something that keeps me up at night,” Jackson said. “Algorithms generally are trained from the data. They encapsulate, reflect and hardwire history. So, if a thing occurs in a certain way historically, the algorithm will capture that and ensure that it occurs again with low variation in the future. If the historical behavior is biased, that will appear in the algorithm, and for sure, that’s a real problem. The other one is it can be really insidious as to how racial or gender or other biases can actually transmit through data.” Jackson pointed to the example of an algorithm his team worked to design that inadvertently incorporated zip codes of individuals, which can be highly correlated with race. Some are also concerned that the proliferation of algorithms in clinical decision support tools used by health care providers could contribute to inequities and other problems that already exist in the system.


Illinois state Rep. Tom Demmer is director of Innovation & Strategy at Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon and a member of the What’s Next? Leveraging Innovation subcommittee of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force.


“Do you see that there will be a situation in which there is kind of a different algorithm based on which (electronic health record) you use […] and we might have 100 different algorithms that are in play, maybe giving different guidance to providers?” he asked during the subcommittee’s session at the 2019 CSG National Conference in December. “Understanding, too, how even with a small tweak in an algorithm, we might see very different utilization trends, I worry about an algorithm that maybe 10 years ago would have contributed even more toward opioid over-prescription. […] What can we do to make sure that algorithms aren’t contributing to some of those trends that are already causing some problems in medicine? […] Do you think we’ll be in a world where you get a different flavor of algorithm depending on which provider you see?”

artificial intelligence in 2020

How AI is Changing Your Daily Life


It Improves Health Care


It Makes Life More Convenient


It Delegates Menial Tasks

Jackson said that’s the world we’re already living in. “I think that we will see a growing number of AIs out there, and it will affect the care experience that you experience in any particular venue,” he said. “The truth of the matter is that’s already the case depending on the physicians and the nurses and the other caregivers in any given care setting. If you have the superstar doctor in a particular hospital, your care experience will be different there today (than) elsewhere, and we know and accept that as a society already today.”

Regulation & Oversight of Artificial Intelligence The primary regulator of AI and algorithm tools for health care at the federal level is the Food and Drug Administration, the agency traditionally charged with regulating interstate commerce in medical devices where action is taken automatically (for example, pacemakers or ventilators). Jackson worries that the proliferation of such tools has created a bit of a “Wild West” environment and that the industry could be ripe for additional oversight and regulation, but he argues it would need to be done in a thoughtful way. “I get very nervous with some of the applications I see out there on the app stores that purport to do things, which haven’t been through the normal best practice clinical validation,” he said. “There’s a lot of that that makes me nervous. At the same time, I would also not welcome or find comfortable an extremely onerous process. If anything that was algorithmic were to have to go through a full regulatory review, that would slow down the pace of American innovation excessively.”

“I think one of the real beauties of America is the federal system and the state system where we can get so much innovation and thinking done and experimentation by having states do things according to their own local characteristics,” said Jackson, who is British. “I think that’s one of the tremendous strengths of America. […] I think the tension is what’s the right level of regulation, and I would propose that the way forward on all of this is to promote interoperability and promote openness on these types of capabilities, so that what’s going on is occurring in the open in a shared fashion, and it’s to the benefit of the population generally.”

For anyone who has ever called out to Amazon’s Alexa or logged on to a weather app to check the week’s forecast, artificial intelligence is making the simplest tasks even easier. Apple’s Siri can make a phone call or write a text message for us. Phone menus are more accessible to all callers. Servion Global Solutions estimates that by 2025, as many as 95% of all customer interactions will involve artificial intelligence.

AI personal assistants can help business owners handle emails and set up calendars. Automated services schedule social media posts. Gmail’s AI settings filter out 99.9% of spam mail. The absence of human emotion in artificial intelligence allows it to be clinical and efficient in generating the right photos, hashtags and presets. Source: Forbes


Jackson said he does see a role for state governments to help shape the development of AI in medicine, as states like Vermont lead the way.

From the more complex robot-assisted surgery—robots actually in the operating room helping with the operation—to the easier-to-understand impacts of artificial intelligence on discovering new drugs to address new illnesses, new technology and innovation greatly impacts the healthcare industry. AI utilizes data sets to improve diagnostics and assists with assessments of X-rays and other scans. AI helps save lives and money in the health care industry.


technology and COVID-19

Increasing Access:

5G AND BROADBAND By Vanessa Grossl


round the country, states have been working in creative ways to ensure that residents have access to broadband by instituting task forces and other offices and implementing alternative funding mechanisms. Broadband has become increasingly essential in the daily lives of rural, urban and inner-city residents alike, and increasing broadband access is an important step in bridging the digital divide. Connectivity speeds are likewise important to communities and governments. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic is showing just how key broadband access is in helping residents navigate and thrive in the new normal. Access allows residents to connect with telehealth, distance learning opportunities for K-12 students and beyond, government services and so much more.


Estimates from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) say that 21 million Americans lack broadband access. Other estimates place that number as high as 162 million Americans. This is a critical issue and is an area where states are playing an active role to help with more accurate broadband mapping.


States are establishing broadband funds and grant programs and engaging in a variety of other programmatic activities such as planning, outreach to stakeholders and even digital literacy efforts. States are investing in helping to close the broadband deployment gap by focusing on bringing service to unserved and underserved communities. Minnesota established a broadband task force in 2011 and has had very aggressive goals for broadband expansion, including border-to-border access at speeds of 25/3 megabits per second by 2022 and 100/20 Mbps by 2026. The state set up a broadband office within the Department of Employment and Economic Development in 2013 followed by a grant

program in 2014. Since 2014, that grant program has invested $85 million and connected over 40,000 premises, according to Anna Read, a broadband research initiative officer from Pew Charitable Trusts, who served on a panel at a CSG Future of Work National Task Force meeting in December 2019. The private sector is also getting involved with ambitious goals to connect America. According to Sid Roberts of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, Microsoft is currently on target to expand broadband (through internet service provider partnerships) into rural areas of states. Between July 2017 and July 2022, the project will reach 3 million residents who had never before had access to broadband, primarily using fixed wireless technology (antenna) and television white space technology. Halfway through its five-year rural broadband project, Microsoft’s Airband Initiative is now in 25 states and Puerto Rico. Another promising private sector initiative is the New T-Mobile which completed its merger with Sprint in April 2020 and has goals to dramatically increase 5G access, even in rural areas and small towns, which could allow some of them to leapfrog above and beyond both current levels in terms of both access to broadband and speed. The New T-Mobile is expected to provide 5G to 99% of the U.S. population with average 5G speeds above 100 Mbps to 90% of the population. Their business plan is built on covering 90% of rural residents with average 5G speeds of 50 Mbps, up to two times faster than broadband within 6 years. 5G offers more bandwidth, faster mobile services and more real-time services over mobile. According to Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who also served as a panelist for the CSG Future of Work National Task Force, the FCC has made a lot more spectrum

5G and broadband

available and states are getting involved in wireless policy for the first time. Wireless policy was traditionally a federal job, but through small cells and new available spectrum, states can increase the capacity in a targeted area fivefold, tenfold or even fiftyfold. Deploying 5G involves a number of hurdles, however, including how to install small cells (about the size of a pizza box) throughout downtowns or other targeted areas. A frequent solution is installing them on buildings and telephone poles. Between industry, state and local officials, a number of jurisdictions are impacted. Involving public rights-of-way, public property, residents, power companies and powerful carriers, the subject is controversial for many stakeholders. As is true with many projects, however, states are learning through the growing pains. Some states accomplish this through task forces that help

identify the issues and interests of all parties involved, such as cost, and time lag of permit applications, and determining fair monthly or annual rates for pole access within municipalities. The FCC and states have often capped fees on what cities can charge, and about half of the states have small cell legislation. The FCC continues to work in this space, as well. Due to COVID-19, more Americans are being encouraged to work and study from home, and those quarantined are increasingly turning to their tablets and phones for entertainment. As networks attempt to keep up with capacity spikes, broadband and 5G rollouts and expansion projects are proving essential for supporting the rising connectivity needs in every state and territory, particularly during this challenging time for the nation.

lack broadband access. Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)


21 million Americans


technology and COVID-19

What is Broadband? According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),

broadband commonly refers to

high-speed Internet access that is

a lways o n and

Broadband has download speeds of at least

25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least

fa s t e r

3 Mbps

than the traditional dial-up access.


Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as:


D i g i ta l Subscriber Line (DSL)

Ca b l e Modem


S at e l l i t e

W i r e l e ss

B r oa d b a n d ov e r P ow e r l i n e s (BPL)

The Pew Charitable Trusts has a broadband policy explorer that allows users to search by category how states are expanding access to broadband through laws. Discover this tool at: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/data-visualizations/2019/state-broadband-policy-explorer

5G and broadband

What is 5G? According to the FCC, 5g is the “fifth generation

of mobile communications,� which provides consumers with

It differs from 4g by providing higher data speeds with

less delay.

faster data rates with lower latency, or delays, in

transmitting data and

promises more

ca pac i ty for a more efficient network.

As of April 2020, only

11 states

do not have at least one city with 5g capability with a major carrier



technology and COVID-19

Broadening Horizons CSG joins other government leadership organizations in support of federal expansion of broadband by Blair Hess

In early March 2020, The Council of State Governments joined a coalition of state and local government leadership associations to express a united support for Congress’ possible investment in nationwide broadband infrastructure. This effort, which was announced in a joint press release, encourages the federal government to take advantage of the opportunity to leverage the upcoming auction of the C-band spectrum for a large-scale expansion and upgrade of broadband across communities. This auction of the C-band spectrum is at the center of why CSG has joined the coalition. C-band spectrum is what satellite-based media companies use to beam radio and television signals to approximately 120 million households across the U.S. The C-band spectrum is also utilized to advance 5G signals, something that more cities across the country are working to do.


In late February 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created new rules for how C-band spectrum space will be divided. With these changes, the government could potentially pay existing spectrum users to relocate their services in the next five years and then hold a public auction for spectrum use. CSG joined the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors to encourage the federal government to leverage the upcoming auction of the C-band spectrum and use the funds for a largescale expansion and upgrade of broadband across the country.


“The need for greater federal investment in the nation’s broadband infrastructure has never been more apparent,” the coalition wrote in its news release. “Even as more government services, business opportunities and educational activities move online, too many of our residents have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide by insufficient or unaffordable connectivity. Connectivity is essential to unleashing economic potential, promoting job growth and ensuring small business participation in the digital economy. We need ubiquitous, affordable broadband to truly unlock the potential of

new technologies for health care advancement and smart infrastructure.” As businesses and schools closed following the global outbreak of COVID-19, more citizens — of all ages — were pushed online to complete schoolwork and the demands of teleworking to maintain employment. The digital divide, which has continued to worsen as life is being lived increasingly online, is more apparent today during this change to how we are working and living through the novel coronavirus pandemic. Those who lack access to broadband and to the funds and skills to use it are missing out on employment, education and health care opportunities. “More work is needed to connect all of our communities,” the media release stated. “This auction presents a unique opportunity to invest in closing the digital divide without creating a new cost burden for the federal government and while still accommodating the needs of the current users of the C-band.” CSG and its partners in this coalition maintain that state and local governments should be partners in determining the allocation of funds because state and local leaders have a more granular understanding about where broadband infrastructure is robust and where it is lacking. Affordability of subscriptions is another issue that state and local leaders can help address.

More work is needed to connect all of our communities. This auction presents a unique opportunity to invest in closing the digital divide without creating a new cost burden for the federal government and while still accommodating the needs of the current users of the C-band.” – The Council of State Governments, alongside its partners: the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors

smart cities

, s e i t i C Smart rnment e v o G d o Go How 5G

ssisting logy is a


ty of life

li and qua e r u t c u r t s

city infra

by Joel Sams Globally, 5G technology has ushered in a host of possibilities for city maintenance and infrastructure development, waste management and recycling and quality of life. But what exactly is smart city technology — and what does it mean for state leaders? Tech Republic defines a smart city as a city using “IoT [Internet of Things] sensors and technology to connect components across a city to derive data and improve the lives of citizens and visitors.” In practical terms, smart city technology allows multiple devices to connect and communicate with each other. This connectivity allows humans and machines to monitor and measure vast amounts of data while improving quality of life. Chicago is one example of a city that leveraged smart city technology to transform infrastructure through projects led by Brenna Berman, former executive director of Chicago’s City Tech. Data collected from connected cameras, for instance, allowed the city “to better design intersections and streets, work out where to segregate different traffic flows and tweak traffic light patterns to improve safety,” according to Wired. Street floods were yet another challenge that Chicago addressed using smart city technology. Berman said artificial intelligence sensors would report data on street conditions, including depth of water on the street, helping city officials anticipate and respond to problems.

Smart city technology can also transform waste management and recycling processes. In Toronto, Ontario, Sidewalk Labs is piloting an AI-powered recycling program that relies on robotic camera images to provide information about waste management practices, according to reporting from StateScoop. And in Los Angeles, Ecube Labs Co. — through a web-based tool and a smartphone app — collects data on waste bin fill levels, making collection processes more efficient. In 2016, cities worldwide spent $80 billion on smart city technology — a sum that is predicted to grow to $189 billion by 2023, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). Accordingly, state leaders will need to be clear-eyed about the challenges and opportunities posed by new tools. “State leaders need to understand privacy and security issues and address these, as well as digital divide (access) issues,” said Nevada Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, who serves on the What’s Next? Embracing the Future subcommittee of the CSG Future of Work National Task Force. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how the networks that underlie smart city technology also can be used to deliver services, such as education and tele-medicine; facilitate communications from governmental leaders; and help those in need access services faster. We’ve also seen how privacy and security can be impeded and how the digital divide can lead to even greater inequality.”

2023 $189 billion

In 2016, cities worldwide spent $80 billion on smart city technology — a sum that is predicted to grow to $189 billion by 2023, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).


2016 $80 billion


technology and COVID-19

Back to the Future

Minority Report

(1989, SET IN 2015)

(2002, SET IN 2054)



Self-lacing shoes, Flying cars

Targeted advertisements to individual people — by name — via retinal scan.


Self-lacing shoes

The Nike Mags famously worn by Michael J. Fox in 1989 film “Back to the Future” became a cultural phenomenon at the time as shoes that could lace themselves. Decades later, in partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which raises money for Parkinson’s disease research, Nike released its Nike Mag in October 2016. The shoe was a limited-edition release of only 89 pairs in order to raise awareness in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. Nike also developed the HyperAdapt 1.0 in 2016, which automatically laces and fits to the unique shape of each athlete’s foot. This individually responsive system called Adaptive Fit senses the wearer and tightens or loosens accordingly.

REALITY: Flying cars The race is on, but so far no one has met the requirements to launch a flying car. In Miami, a high-rise residential building — the Paramount Miami World Center — has a specially designed rooftop to accommodate potential flying cars. This observation deck doubles as a landing pad for vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. It is scheduled to open in 2020. However, Porsche and Boeing — who have joined together on this venture — estimate that commercial passenger drones won’t hit the market until 2025.

Star Wars


PREDICTION Bionic limbs




Luke Skywalker famously lost his hand to Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back” and had it replaced with a bionic hand. The University of Utah Bionic Engineering Lab, in partnership with Mobius Bionics, has developed an artificial intelligence-powered bionic limb that will change the future of advanced prosthetics. The LUKE Arm prototype — short for Life Under Kinetic Evolution — is inspired by Luke Skywalker. The prosthesis returns function and feeling to its users by signaling the nervous system via peripheral nerve stimulation through a small implant that delivers sensory information and feedback to LUKE.

R EALITY We’ve all been shopping on an online commerce site, searching for a particular brand of something only to have the same product suggested to us on social media or through search engine ads just minutes later. These targeted internet ads — called personalized re-targeting or re-marketing — are made possible through cookies in your browser. Additionally, IBM and Japan-based NEC have worked on prototypes for personalized ads through facial recognition software. In Japan, some supermarkets have tested this advertising through ad boards with this facial recognition software built in. The technology identifies a person’s age and gender as they walk by and delivers them recommended products based on that demographic. It was designed to be anonymous, but with the technologies currently available through smart phones alone, it could be an easy leap into truly personal targeting, a technology that “Minority Report” didn’t predict would be available until 2054.



PREDICTION Virtual assistant

REALITY In the movie “Her,” the main character purchases an operating system upgrade that includes a virtual assistant with artificial intelligence designed to adapt and evolve. When the movie came out in 2013, a relationship — romantic, platonic or otherwise — seemed ridiculous. But today, we talk to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant while we’re driving, around the house, opening the refrigerator and working out. A few years ago it may have seemed strange that the movie’s character let his virtual assistant, Samantha, run through the hard drive on his computer. But today, we ask these assistants to get information from our phones, access documents, go through our music and our contacts and to control our utilities. And their services improve as they get to know us and learn how to make our lives easier.

fact vs. fiction


hat did science fiction and pop culture — the movies and television shows we watched growing up and the books we read — tell us was going to happen in The Future? A lot of movies and shows such as “Back to the Future,”“The Jetsons,”“iRobot” and “Minority Report” predicted things about technology and what the future world would look like. Did any of these predictions about the future or alternative universes come true? What do these technological advancements really look like? You may be surprised to see what really came to fruition.

The Jetsons

Edge of Tomorrow

(1962-1963, 1985-1987, SET IN 2062)

(2014, SET IN 2020)



Jet packs, robot maid and housekeeper, Rosie, and video phones

Exoskeleton suits

REALITY: Jet Packs

The Tom Cruise movie, “Edge of Tomorrow,” was set in the year 2020, but it doesn’t look much like the world outside of our windows. The movie characters, however, utilized supercharged exoskeleton suits to combat aliens. In real life, these costumes took 26 weeks to build, and they weren’t even functional to do what the movie shows them doing. So how realistic are the suits, and who would need them in the real 2020? The U.S. Army has been exploring the concept of commercial exoskeleton technologies for potential military applications, which could be used to support strength and endurance and protect soldiers from strain injury. Several companies are working on early development of this technology.

In “The Jetsons,” the characters only had to strap on their personal jet packs and they were off to school or the mall. Today, both water jet packs and flyboards — originally propelled by water but with prototypes of the jet-powered versions — have been invented. So why don’t we see people flying around? A couple of reasons: First, they are expensive. Costs for these suits range from $250,000 to $450,000. Second, there’s the issue of fuel. A flyer can ride just 5-10 minutes on a full tank of jet fuel. You’d need a lot to travel anywhere. Third, they’re difficult to fly. It takes an incredible amount of arm and core strength to stabilize your body against the thrust of the jets. Finally, they’re in a regulatory gray area. Nearly everything that flies in the U.S. is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Would the FAA monitor fliers of jet packs, or would they fall under a personal flying vehicle category that the FAA calls an "ultralight" aircraft — one not requiring certification?"


Robot Maid and Housekeeper, Rosie

Both in the comic and the television cartoon, the Jetson family includes Rosie, a robot maid and housekeeper. While today we don’t have robots dressed as maids wheeling around our residences, many households do have robotic cleaners. Robotic vacuum cleaners such as the iRobot popular model, Roomba, first came about in 1996 but had several problems, including colliding with objects and stopping too short of walls. Early models of these vacuums were unpopular and follow up products from Dyson (DC06) were too expensive to put on the market. It was the American advanced technology company iRobot that dedicated itself to robotizing household chores. Roomba was launched in 2002. By 2004, more than 1 million robotic vacuum cleaners had been sold.

REALITY : Video Phones

I, Robot (2004, SET IN 2035)

PREDICTION Autonomous vehicle

REALITY This Will Smith action movie poses its fair share of concerns about technology, artificial intelligence and robots in the future. However, the Audi self-driving cars that are seen throughout “I, Robot” are something all viewers were jealous of when the movie came out in 2004. While we’re still 15 years away from the “future” when the fictional story takes place, we may see more driverless cars sooner than you think. Already, cars equipped with self-driving systems are on the roads. Google uses them to capture map data. States have introduced several versions of legislation preparing for a more widespread release of these vehicles, and manufacturers like Tesla expect to have vehicles with autopilot hardware and software for hands-free driving available in the next five years. Safety will be a primary concern.


Video phones have been seen in several pop culture references over the years, but perhaps one of the first was in “The Jetsons” cartoon that was first on the air in the early 1960s. On the show, the Jetson family would get incoming video calls on a large television-like device that resembled tube television sets of the time. Only this one had some space flare and floated in the air. In 1964, AT&T debuted the Picturephone I, a Bell System Picturephone that required special wiring to work and wasn’t compatible with the phone network. Webcams and the online video chat revolution came about in the mid 2000s along with Video IP phones. But video calling was revolutionized by the smartphone. iPhones and FaceTime, Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp are all ways we can create our own Jetsons-like video calls around the globe.



technology and COVID-19



What inspired you to run for public office?

Photo here!

When I moved to Topeka, I lived in an incredibly civic-minded, politically engaged neighborhood. My next-door neighbor was Kathleen Sebelius, who was a state representative at the time and obviously went on to do great things as the Kansas insurance commissioner, Kansas governor, and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama. My state senator lived around the corner. The Kansas secretary of state lived down the block. My social life naturally began to orbit around political and community events, which drew me into the political process at the local and state level. I am not an especially partisan person and never harbored ambitions of being a politician. In 2004, I was asked to run for the Kansas senate. At that time, I felt like the incumbent state senator did not represent me, my neighbors or the district. I thought it was time for change, so I went for it.

What policy areas are you most passionate about? I’d say I am most passionate about the state budget. I know it sounds boring, but the budget is the ultimate reflection of what a state truly values. I served as the ranking member of the Senate Ways and Means committee for 12 years, which is where I learned the nuances of state finances and how the gears of government click together (… or not, in some cases). This is how I learned that all public policy eventually comes back to the budget, in one way or another.


When I was elected, I also pledged to be the “Education Governor.” I am particularly passionate about early childhood education. My past career experiences working with kids with mental health issues and in the prison system influenced me a great deal. Early in my career it became clear to me that the care and education we provide children during their first few years of life can shape their entire life’s trajectory.


And, as we’ve been acutely reminded of recently, the most important job of state government is to keep people safe. The public health and economic emergencies confronting every state at the hand of COVID-19 has offered new perspective as to why government must remain both stable and agile in the face of large-scale challenges.

You are the 2020 CSG national president. Can you tell the value of being a part of CSG and what kinds of tools and/or resources it provides that help you serve the people of Kansas? I’ve long been a fan of CSG, particularly after participating in the Henry Toll Fellowship program when I was a state senator. By pro-


viding elected leaders with a “safe space” to collaborate and share ideas in a nonpartisan, nonpolitical way, CSG helps transform politicians into public servants who focus on best practices. This type of collaboration has never been more important, especially as all states — and all units of government — navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the country, Kansas has consistently been a leader in establishing policies that work to keep Kansans safe. What has been the most difficult part of governing during this time, and what do you draw inspiration from as you continue your efforts in doing your part to battle this health crisis? In January 2019, Kansas’ economic outlook was bright and our state coffers were stable. But from my perspective, a downturn was never a question of “if,” it was a question of “when” and “how bad.” Even with the threat of the coronavirus, our priorities remain the same. Kansas, and states around the nation, have had to deal with the immense challenge of implementing strategies to slow the spread of the virus while also making sure people have access to the things they need — like personal protective equipment (PPE), groceries, unemployment services and up-to-date, reliable information. Luckily, it’s not just my team in this fight. We have seen countless examples of communities coming together to support one another through acts of kindness, innovation, patience and love. Our healthcare workers and first responders are on the front lines every day working to protect the lives of so many. That’s what truly inspires me.

2020 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. There have been many influential women in state government in the past 100 years and many female governors who have had an impact during their time in office. Who has inspired you and why? What would you say to young women aspiring to run for public office? The Sunflower State has a long, proud history of putting women in positions of leadership. We were the first state in the nation to grant women the right to vote in local school board elections. We elected the nation’s first female mayor, the first female sheriff, and the first all-woman city council. Kansas was also the first state to send a woman, Nancy Kassebaum, to the United States senate in her own right — without replacing her husband or fulfilling an unexpired term. I think a lot about Jane Addams, who was an activist, reformer and social worker. She created the Hull House, a settlement in Chicago where they provided essential services to improve the lives of the poor, like daycare, education and healthcare.

I’d encourage women to think less of what they want to “be” and more on what they want to “do.” Public service should be the reason anyone runs for office — man or woman. I’d encourage women to be both thoughtful and fearless. There’s nothing easy about public service, but if people understand that you’ve put serious thought into an issue or problem, they are more apt to come along with you … even if they may not fully agree.


What’s something you keep in your office and why?

I have a photo of a young girl named Lexie on my desk. Lexie was a toddler when she tragically died while at daycare. I worked with her parents and we passed Lexie’s Law. This significantly strengthened requirements for in-home childcare licensing, catapulting Kansas from 46th in the nation to 3rd over just a couple of years. Lexie’s picture reminds of why I serve — to fight for Kansans and implement smart public policy and to work as hard as I can in the limited number of days I am given in this office.


When you get a break from your official duties, how do you like to spend your free time?

While working on my master’s degree at Indiana University, I was asked to describe how I best liked to spend my leisure time. I chose “solitude.” All these years later, I gravitate to reading, puzzles and walking. Occasionally, I play very bad golf.


What is your favorite thing about Kansas?

Kansas has an inherent can-do attitude. We are home to the pioneers – the problem solvers – and are known to work together. After all, our motto is quintessentially Kansan: “Ad Astra Per Aspera” (“To the Stars Through Difficulty”) That’s what I love most about Kansas.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

First and foremost: speak less, listen more. But also, focus on people’s strengths. I once read a book about differences in gender when it came to team building. What stuck out the most was that men who were successful in business and other endeavors were so because they learned to build teams based on talent, skills and strengths, while women would often select individuals based on their personality. It is important to build a team whose members get along with each other – but I also make a point assessing what unique skillset they bring to the table.


As I think to the next generation of women leaders, I am greatly inspired by my fellow female governors. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan has become a wonderful friend. I am also a huge fan of Congresswoman Sharice Davids, one of the two first Native American women to ever be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.


Asked Answered


technology and COVID-19


by Sierra Hatfield


States have yet to deploy chrome-plated humanoid machines to chase speeding cars on motorcycles and print tickets from their mouths, but that doesn’t mean that law enforcement remains untouched by the future. Although “robocops” are still not in mass production, what we once thought to be science fiction is now slowly creeping its way into realistic ideas for producing smarter, more efficient law enforcement—although in a much less blockbuster fashion.


Several states have legislation on the books regarding body cameras. For example, four states—California, Connecticut, South Carolina and Nevada—require at least some officers to wear body-worn cameras, while 14 other states have legislation regarding funding should a police department seek to acquire some. Multiple studies assembled by the U.S. Department of Justice have proven that officers who wear body cameras not only receive fewer complaints and use of force reports, but they also make more arrests and issue more citations than officers who do not wear them. As a result, states are able to find financial and administrative savings as fewer resources are spent on addressing officer complaints. In addition to body cameras, some states are exploring other technologies that can accompany an officer on the job. In Louisiana, the Terre-

bonne Parish Sheriff's Office is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the state to provide deputies with Sharps and Needles Destruction Devices (SANDDs). Deputies come across needles almost constantly— sometimes getting accidentally pricked—and the jail pays a monthly fee to dispose of them safely. A SANDD, however, provides deputies with a safe, effective, money-saving method of disposing needles (and any bloodborne pathogens on them) without risking any evidence contained in the syringe. The device can be attached to patrol cars and incinerates needles with a temperature of just over 4,500 degrees. Allowing deputies to dispose of needles on-site with a SANDD not only saves time and money, but also protects their physical health and increases peace of mind. With the technological leaps made in the last two decades, it is possible states will one day have the ability to deploy a more automated law enforcement. Currently, other technologies such as ultra-rugged laptops, drones and facial recognition are helping police departments stay connected to the data to make better-informed decisions. But looking ahead, the possibilities are endless—voice-to-text technology has the potential to cut the burden of paperwork in half for police officers. New technology features in squad cars, such as built-in sensors that audibly warn the driver of danger in their environment, could save lives. As the realm of science fiction draws closer to reality, states are working hard to provide law enforcement with the best technology available.

ABOVE: Los Angeles, California / USA - May 1, 2020: A Los Angeles Police (LAPD) Officer wearing a body camera stands watch outside of City Hall. Photo Credit: Matt Gush, iStock

COVID-19 impacts on justice

LOSING ESSENTIAL SERVICES CSG Justice Center survey shows reentry services halting across U.S. amidst COVID-19 by CSG Justice Center Staff As community-based criminal justice practitioners navigate the new world of COVID-19, a majority of them are already halting the essential services they provide to help people returning from prison or jail reenter successfully. A survey of reentry service providers conducted by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center in April 2020 showed that 75% of 126 respondents said they had stopped providing some services or closed operation entirely since the rise of the pandemic. Those service disruptions are coupled with financing challenges that are prompting a growing collection of tough decisions already being made by leaders of these operations. About 45% of respondents say they face challenges with maintaining cash flow, and nearly half of those surveyed are concerned about their ability to keep their doors open. Nearly one in five organizations report they have already laid off workers, and an additional 9% expect layoffs in the future.

“The value of these reentry services can’t be overstated,” said Megan Quattlebaum, director of the CSG Justice Center. “They can mean the difference between finding an apartment and being homeless, securing an occupational license and being unemployed and, frankly, success and failure. It’s in all of our best interests that we ensure the success of people returning from incarceration. Our federal, local and state governments must come to their aid at such a challenging and complex time.”


Despite the curtailing of these critical programs and corresponding cuts, nearly half of the providers polled are seeing an increase in requests for services, according to the survey.


technology and COVID-19

PERSEVERING I N A PA N D E M I C Financial Resources for Community-Based Organizations by Hannah Sosland The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to escalate each day. To date, the focus has largely been shoring up small and large for-profit companies, but the impact is also starting to show for community-based organizations that provide critical services to people involved in the criminal justice system. Programs have closed. Reentry and behavioral health practitioners have lost their jobs. Organizations trying to stay afloat are finding themselves competing for increasingly scarce resources. If these small businesses and nonprofits are left to collapse, the people who are returning to their communities will enter our radically transformed world with even fewer supports than they had in the past. To help these organizations weather the storm, the CSG Justice Center compiled a list of financial resources from federal legislation, private foundations and financial institutions that small businesses and nonprofits can take advantage of to support themselves through this trying period.


Visit the CSG Justice Center website, csgjusticecenter.org, for a complete list of financial relief included in recent federal legislation, as well as current and potential federal grantee funding and private funding opportunities. Learn more: csgjusticecenter.org/persevering-in-a-pandemicfinancial-resources-for-community-based-organizations


The survey, “How Are You Persevering During the Pandemic?”, makes clear that community service providers are doing what they can to acclimate to the new pandemic reality. More than 80% of respondents said they had increased their use of technology to serve their clients, while nearly 60% reduced home visits or direct transportation to and from services. Yet these adjustments are not leaving practitioners confident that people exiting prison or jail will receive the suite of services they need in the near future. Eighty percent of respondents said they’re either “very” or “extremely” concerned that returning citizens will continue to face reduced access to needed services over the next three months. Over the same period, those surveyed overwhelmingly ranked employment as the biggest need their clients will struggle to receive, followed by in-reach services in correctional facilities and access to coronavirus testing. Service providers who participated in the poll hailed from 36 states and serve people in a variety of rural, urban and suburban areas across the country. Respondents represented a cross-section of entities, ranging from advocacy organizations to homeless service organizations, and provide a variety of services related to reentry, including case planning, housing, education, mental health and more. Despite the diversity of those surveyed, about two-thirds of respondents ranked more funding and resources as their biggest need. In March 2020, Congress passed a third relief package that included $350 billion in assistance for loans dedicated to small businesses and nonprofits. But the White House reported in April that those funds had recently run dry. The White House and congressional leaders announced shortly after a deal to expand small business aid as part of a fourth relief bill.

The value of these reentry services can’t be overstated. They can mean the difference between finding an apartment and being homeless, securing an occupational license and being unemployed and, frankly, success and failure.” —Megan Quattlebaum, director of the CSG Justice Center

COVID-19 impacts on justice


“How Are You Persevering During the Pandemic?� administered by the CSG Justice Center to organizations that provide support services to incarcerated individuals returning to life and work


of 126 respondents said they had stopped providing some services or closed operation entirely since the rise of the pandemic.


of respondents said they had increased their use of technology to serve their clients, while nearly 60% reduced home visits or direct transportation to and from services.

PA R T I C I PAT I N G S TAT E S Reentry service providers across 36 states participated in the survey, including those reporting from rural, urban and suburban areas.



States surveyed



technology and COVID-19


privacy and cybersecurity

Privacy, cybersecurity and technology are more important than ever in the era of COVID-19 by Vanessa Grossl


he COVID-19 pandemic has provided the backdrop for a number of emergent vulnerabilities and unseen threats as both private and public sector organizations call for more telework, telehealth and distance learning across the country. An increased reliance on digital tools during this new era and a laser focus on the pandemic present the perfect storm for a cybercriminal to target workers who can be more vulnerable while using a personal computer outside of their typical secured workplace networks. Video conferencing softwares, social media posts and chat programs have become essential for work-life interactions and public and private sector transactions, yet in a worst-case scenario, broad-based cyberattacks could cause widespread infrastructure failures that take entire communities or cities offline, leaving some without access to healthcare providers or other essential services. The COVID-19 pandemic could expose governments to attacks as agencies prioritize the outbreak above all else. Additionally, because the current global pandemic stretches beyond the contingency planning of most organizations, governments are turning to consumer services that they don’t typically rely on in order to communicate. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already been the target of hackers who intended to disrupt operations and information flow, and programs like Zoom have become inundated with “zoombombers”— people joining Zoom meetings uninvited and interrupting with explicit and/or racist content.

Multiple law enforcement alerts have also detailed the dramatic spike in the use of COVID-19 themes by hackers as a way to lure unsuspecting users into

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the nation’s risk advisor, has issued new guidelines, “Risk Management for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),” that includes suggested actions for infrastructure protection, supply chains, organizations, the workforce and consumers. Individual behavior is instrumental in preventing the spread of dangerous infections, not only in the physical world, but also online. The current conditions are ripe for all sorts of cyberattacks and schemes, not to mention privacy violations. A serious concern among privacy gurus is that new surveillance technologies deployed during the COVID-19 crises will become the “new normal” and will continue to permeate and be embedded in our daily lives even after the crisis ends. This type of monitoring can lead to mass surveillance without necessary transparency and accountability measures. Last year, California voters expressed a strong desire for protections from unchecked data collection practices by companies and governments through the California Consumer Privacy Act. The law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, requires disclosures and permits users to opt out. State legislators from around the country are showing increased interest in the methods that companies use to share data and the ways that data is derived, with a focus on protecting consumers’ data privacy, as even more states draft and introduce privacy legislation this year. Industry groups have taken note on the uptick in privacy legislation and are working to help shape the legislation before it is enacted. New York is considering whether companies should have a fiduciary duty to safeguard users’ data. Jules Polonetsky, the chief executive of the Future of Privacy Forum, has warned that Zoom’s standard privacy policy allows data to be shared for targeted advertising and that some of the company’s standard terms are not consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), or with many of the 130-plus state student privacy laws passed since 2014. For workers using the software during business hours, Zoom also reportedly includes a feature that


Cybersecurity has taken a back seat as the rapid shift to remote internet usage left videoconferencing software companies scrambling to meet internal demands, including efforts to exponentially expand networks in order to prevent them from collapsing under the tremendous increase in user demand. Privacy experts have said that Zoom values ease of use and fast growth over instituting default user protections. In a Friday statement, federal prosecutors in Michigan warned the public that anyone who hacks into a teleconference can be charged with state or federal crimes.

a phishing scheme via email or to entice them to download malware. Experts warn that in times of stress or distraction, people are more likely to fall for malicious scams and tricks.


technology and COVID-19

Cybersecurity secures electronic data and systems against criminal attacks, including:

In most companies and businesses, MALWARE



INTERNAL CYBERSECURITY steps have been taken




COVID-19 means we are seeing unprecedented levels of teleworking, including telemedicine. Suddenly, these systems are significantly more open for cyber-attacks.


can track some aspects of whether a participant is multitasking on a computer and report it back to the host of the call. The New York Times recently reported that a feature on Zoom secretly displayed data from people’s LinkedIn profiles in addition to communicating the names and emails of participants in private Zoom meetings to LinkedIn. After inquiries from Times reporters, Zoom agreed to disable the data-mining feature.


During times of crisis, civil liberties violations can become normalized due to the perceived balance of safety versus privacy skewing toward safety. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF), a digital civil liberties nonprofit, cautions that in addition to private-sector companies, “many government agencies are collecting and analyzing personal information about large numbers of identifiable people, including their health, travel, and personal relationships.” The EEF says such measures are justified during a crisis but should not become permanent fixtures of society. It suggests principles like an expiration date for any data collected, requirements that any collection be based on science, not bias, and that due process be adhered to when taking action based on available data.

Resources for state leaders: he National Association of State Chief Information Officers T (NASCIO) has released COVID-19 Planning & Response Guidance for State CIOs available here:  h ttps://www.nascio.org/resource-center/resources/covid-19planning-and-response-guidance-for-state-cios/

ASCIO has also developed a page with response resources N for state IT offices available here:  https://www.nascio.org/covid19resources/ 

of the State States

state technology trends in 2020

T H I S Y E A R ’ S T E C H N O LO GY T R E N D S A N D P E R S P E C T I V E S F R O M N A S C I O by Meredith Ward | Director of Policy and Research, National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)

With 25 state chief information officer (CIO) transitions, ransomware in the news and continued state assistance to resource-strapped local governments, 2019 was a big year for state information technology. In all likelihood, we will see more of the same, and a few other issues to watch, in 2020.

PRIVACY Following the 2018 implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, states are considering similar privacy issues and legislation. The California Consumer Privacy Act was the first of its kind in the U.S. and became effective on Jan. 1, 2020. Since the introduction of California’s law, at least five other states — Illinois, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Washington and Virginia — have also introduced similar privacy legislation. The California law and the other pieces of legislation mostly apply to the private sector’s use of citizen data and are not targeted at state government. However, state CIOs are still considering how expanded legislation could impact them down the road. Another piece of evidence that supports the view that state CIOs are looking at privacy implications is the rise in the number of state chief privacy officers (CPOs). In 2014, there were five CPOs; there are 13 in 2020. Not all report to the state CIO, but all touch some aspect of citizen data privacy.


The 2019 State CIO Survey offers additional evidence that there will be an increased interest in adopting AI/RPA this. When asked about plans to deploy automation software (for RPA or machine learning) in the next two to three years, half of CIOs said efforts were complete, in progress or planned. However, nearly 30 percent said they were unsure or had no plans to deploy this technology.

Many have called 2019 the year of ransomware, and it is expected that incidents will continue to arise in 2020. While the negative consequences of ransomware incidents can be significant and wide-ranging, one ray of light is it that the threat may have increased collaboration between state and local governments on cybersecurity. As reported in the 2020 NGA/NASCIO publication "Stronger Together: State and Local Cybersecurity Collaboration", the dramatic uptick in ransomware attacks has prompted state leaders to implement programs to strengthen local partnerships in cybersecurity. State governments are increasingly providing services to county and municipal governments, including endpoint protection, shared service agreements for cyber defensive tools, incident response and statewide cybersecurity awareness and training. It is likely that the scope of services provided by states to local governments and collaboration between the two will only increase in 2020. The NGA/NASCIO publication provides recommendations for states on this topic: At minimum, states should be building relationships with local governments. States should raise awareness of existing services being offered to local governments. States should be exploring cost savings that can be achieved through including local governments in service contracts.

Looking to the year ahead, CIOs will continue to play a crucial role in helping state and local governments navigate the changing information landscape.

ABOUT NASCIO The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) works to foster government excellence through leadership of quality business practices, information management and technology policy. This non-partisan organization works to promote the CIO as the technology leader who drives business innovation and transformation and promotes strategic alignment of government technology investments and state business agendas. Learn more at nascio.org.


State CIOs are faced with workforce shortages and limited budgets. One way that CIOs are combatting these challenges is through an increased interest in and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as chatbots and robotic process automation (RPA). In the 2019 State CIO Survey, state CIOs overwhelmingly predicted that AI and RPA will be the most impactful emerging technology in the next three to five years. The network of connected devices known as the Internet of Things (IoT) was ranked in second place while the other options — connected/autonomous vehicles, blockchain and quantum computing — each received a very small percentage of responses. This is a change from just two years prior when, in the 2017 CIO survey, CIOs predicted that IoT would be the most impactful emerging technology in the next three to five years.



technology and COVID-19

Strengthening Telemedicine Remote medical expertise proves its worth in a crisis


By Sean Slone


the growing role of telehealth


hen the history of telemedicine is written — a history dating to the late 1950s — it may be necessary to think in terms of two categories: before and after COVID-19. For now, in the midst of the crisis, telemedicine continues to prove its worth. Just months prior to the pandemic’s outbreak, the biggest concerns about the evolution of telehealth and telemedicine centered around things like the following:

The patchwork of state laws governing telehealth;

State laws concerning things like payment parity for telehealth providers, eligible sites for telehealth visits and the technology modalities that could be used for a telehealth visit (for example, telephone, e-mail and text in addition to videoconferencing-type applications);

Whether a lack of fast broadband connectivity in some parts of the country would prevent telehealth use from becoming widespread.

These were some of the topics being discussed by the What’s Next? Leveraging Innovation Subcommittee of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force, which is in the middle of a two-year process to examine how states can best pave the way for and reap the benefits of telehealth and other innovations in the health care sector.

Whether a reluctant public would ever embrace the technology or become aware of how to use it. One 2019 survey found that only about 10% of Americans had ever actually used telemedicine (others suggested a number as high as 20%);

Whether telehealth providers licensed in one state could provide services across state lines;

The lack of specialties available via telemedicine;


When the history of telemedicine is written... it may be necessary to think in terms of two categories: before and after Covid-19.


technology and COVID-19 In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the discussion has changed. As the coronavirus took hold in the first months of 2020, a series of actions by state governments, Congress, the Trump administration and consumers served, at least temporarily, to remove some of the barriers that may have been holding telemedicine back and to prove the utility of the technology to many Americans. Among the developments:

As of early April, nearly every state and the District of Columbia had waived licensure requirements and renewals to allow doctors to use telehealth to treat patients in other states. Interstate licensure has been considered one of the strongest barriers to the broad adoption of telehealth.

New Jersey: The state’s banking and insurance department ordered all state health insurers, health maintenance organizations, health service corporations and health benefits plans to reimburse providers for telehealth visits during the pandemic. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued similar executive orders.

In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order that served to relax privacy and security standards under Utah law so healthcare providers could implement new telehealth and videoconferencing programs. The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act approved by Congress gave the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary the power to dismiss any telehealth restrictions for Medicare beneficiaries, which policymakers hoped would create a new pathway for seniors — one of the most vulnerable populations during the pandemic — to receive care. Previously, practitioners could only be reimbursed for their services if seniors were actually present in health care facilities — not in their own homes. HHS also used its authority to allow licensed clinicians to prescribe controlled substances to patients they haven’t met in person, as long as they communicate using audio and visual elements.

In late March, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the expansion of Medicare coverage to 85 additional services provided via telehealth and said that all connected telehealth services would be reimbursed at the same rate as in-person services.

CMS also gave physicians the authority during the public health emergency to evaluate Medicare beneficiaries using a wide variety of telehealth technologies, from telephones to interactive apps with audio and video capabilities.


The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act approved by Congress included $200 million for the Federal Communications Commission to improve broadband connectivity for telehealth programs. The legislation also included $100 million to continue a pilot project to boost rural broadband and $25 million for rural development programs including telemedicine


It is currently unclear whether the new freedoms and increased popularity of telehealth will be long-lasting or revert to normal once the crisis has abated. Many expect to see a flurry of legislation in the years ahead as policymakers seek to keep the momentum going on the use of telehealth, to study what happened in 2020, to figure out how to transition from emergency use of telemedicine to normal use and to determine how to be ready should we ever have to rely on this technology so extensively again.

Many health care consumers were quick to seek out telehealth during the crisis. Telehealth services provider Teladoc, which is partnering with and advising CSG’s task force, reported that virtual visits increased by 50% in March because of the pandemic. Stony Brook University Hospital in New York, one of the hardest-hit states, reported an increase of 312% in demand for telehealth services during the first weeks of the outbreak.

For over 170 years, we have helped individuals around the world live healthier lives. Learn how we’re working to help improve global public health at Pfizer.com/Purpose



technology and COVID-19

Keeping workers from different generations connected is key to the future of work


by Brandy Whisman


generations at work

A person 65 years or older today is 75% more likely to be working than a person in the same age group just 10 years ago. (Source: NPR)


person 65 years or older today is 75% more likely to be working than a person in the same age group just 10 years ago. This is according to research reported by NPR, which suggests a loss of pensions and high cost of living have required the aging population to avoid retirement in favor of continuing to work. As a result, five generations — the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and, most recently, Generation Z (Gen Z ) — are now interacting in the workplace, creating a challenge for employers as they seek to meet the needs of the most age-diverse workforce in history. As older employees stay on the job longer, training methods and learning styles must be evaluated to ensure that they meet the needs of the workforce and the demands of the changing work. Generational differences in work preferences and values lead to varying skillsets, abilities and learning styles. One of the most notable dividing factors among workers is technology. Keeping up with changes in technology can be challenging and confusing. Additionally, each generation responds differently to teaching styles. According to LinkedIn, employers may want to engage Gen Z through microlearning (short bursts of focused learning intended to fill knowledge gaps) while employers may engage the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers through faceto-face learning in a more traditional style. States have examined several ways to help workers keep up with changes in technology. Recognizing that a lack of understanding can lead to workplace conflict, West Virginia developed an instructor guide to help train employees in generational differences.

Some higher education institutions have adapted to changing labor market needs by partnering with organizations. The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) engages in ongoing relationships with organizations in order to stay current on labor market trends. Adopting an agile approach, CCRI recently completely changed its approach to education. In 2019, CCRI teamed up with Infosys, an information technology consulting company, to develop educational programming to train students for jobs in the digital economy. These training programs are not just for traditional, straight-out-of-high-school students. More than 30% of CCRI’s students are older than 25. In order to assist with education costs for adult learners, several states have initiated lifelong learning accounts (LiLAs). Washington and Maine both offer LiLAs, which are employeeowned and can be used to pay for tuition assistance, childcare, books, and test fees. LiLAs in Maine are funded by the employer, employee and third-party contributors, such as government agencies and nonprofits. Participation is voluntary and the benefits are portable, following the employee. Workers can use LiLAs to remain current and updated in technological skills to address any knowledge gaps. Understanding generational values can help build on the strengths of each generation and create an inclusive and adaptable environment. As technology shifts and changes faster than ever before, states must learn how to engage and educate across the generational spectrum so that no one is left behind. While there may be a technological divide between older and younger workers, workers from every generation can benefit from one another’s skills and experience.



technology and COVID-19

Generations Explained Changes in how we communicate and connect:

Baby Boomers grew up as television expanded dramatically. Generation X grew up as the computer revolution was taking hold. Millennials came of age during the internet explosion. (Source: Pew Research)

There are currently five generations in the active work force.

The S il ent Generat i on | 1 9 25 -4 2 Often called “The Lucky Few,” they came of age after World War II. Economically, this group has been careful in the labor market, relied on pension plans and benefited from the booming economy that followed The Great Depression and WWII. Today, they make up about 2% of the U.S. workforce. (Source: Forbes, Pew Research)

Baby Boomers | 1 9 4 6 - 6 4 This generation was named for an uptick in the post-WWII birth rate. This generation experienced general wealth and increased consumerism, having the most disposable income. Baby Boomers have been economically influential and are remaining in the labor force at rates not seen in previous generations. Today, they make up about 25% of the U.S. labor force. (Source: Forbes, Pew Research, CNN)

Generation X | 1 9 6 5- 1 9 80 Usually called “Gen X,” these individuals are expected to outnumber Baby Boomers by 2028. While about 75% of people in this generation earn more than the Baby Boomers did when they were the same age, only 36% have more wealth than their parents, mostly due to debt. Today, Gen X makes up about 33% of the U.S. workforce. (Source: Forbes, Pew Research)


M i lleni als | 1 9 80- 1 9 9 6


Millennials outnumbered Baby Boomers in 2014 at 83.1 million individuals (compared to 75.4 million boomers). Millennials are the first generation to grow up with access to the internet and are the most diverse and educated generation to date. About 39% of millennials ages 25-37 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, a larger percentage than previous generations, however about 15% of the same age group with degrees are living at home with parents. This is likely a result of the age of this generation (the oldest just 27) when the recession hit in December 2007. Today, Millennials make up 35% of the U.S. workforce. (Source: Forbes, Pew Research, Business Insider, CNN, U.S. Census Bureau)

Generation Z | 1 9 9 7 - pre se nt Sometimes called Post-Millennials, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse. High school and college enrollment rates for this generation are up, with increases in women and Hispanic and African-American individuals. Currently, Generation Z makes up 5% of the U.S. workforce. (Source: CNN, Pew Research)

the gig economy

Gig Economy Offers Challenges and Opportunities in Disability Employment

by Joel Sams

As technology continues to re-shape the future of work, flexible income earning arrangements present unique challenges and opportunities for people with disabilities.

stimulus package. At time of writing, however, federal documentation guidelines did not exist for gig workers, many of whom do not receive typical wage and tax forms.

From driving services like Uber and Lyft to service apps like TaskRabbit, Postmates, Uber Eats and more, these opportunities offer workers the ability to earn income as independent contractors, in what is commonly referred to as the “gig economy.”

Perhaps the most significant challenge faced by gig workers with disabilities is that, if classified as independent contractors, they are not protected from discrimination by federal law. As hiring practices increasingly rely on algorithms to sort candidates, experts say it’s crucial to address bias against people with disabilities.

According to the Gig Economy Data Hub, more than a quarter of U.S. workers are involved in the gig economy in some way. Business models vary widely, but gig workers can often set their own schedules, select projects and set prices, allowing people “to adapt their work to their needs, while having the freedom to pursue other interests and talents,” according to CSG’s “The Future of the Workforce” report, published in December 2019. By helping to engage more people in the workforce, including people with disabilities, gig work can offer benefits that go beyond income. Referencing the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, “The Future of the Workforce” found that increased decision-making agency can “positively affect the mental and emotional health of self-employed individuals” and that “entrepreneurs with disabilities have even been found to have higher evaluations of selfworth and satisfaction after pursuing self-employment.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed further challenges as well. According to Reuters, gig workers classified as independent contractors were meant to receive benefits under the federal government’s coronavirus

“Workplace technology is fundamentally changing the lives of workers,” Yang said. “[…] To ensure that equal opportunity remains the foundation of our democracy, we must develop a new regulatory framework that creates safeguards and meaningful accountability. At the same time, our laws can be nimble to adapt to advances in technology and scientific understanding.”

According to the Gig Economy Data Hub, more than a quarter of U.S. workers are involved in the gig economy in some way.


While gig work offers valuable flexibility and customizable work patterns, it comes with significant risks, too, as companies — and governments — are still debating how to classify gig workers. Is an Uber driver, for instance, an employee or an independent contractor? If a worker is classified as an employee, the hiring organization bears multiple tax responsibilities and must comply with state and federal regulations regarding wages, hours and working conditions. If a worker is an independent contractor, on the other hand, the hiring organization does not bear those responsibilities.

In February 2020, Urban Institute Senior Fellow Jenny Yang addressed algorithmic bias in testimony before the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor.


technology and COVID-19

WHAT’S NEXT? LEVERAGING INNOVATION The CSG Healthy States subcommittee focuses on opportunities presented by emerging health innovations and technologies by Joel Sams

This story is one of a series that will summarize the hard work being done by the subcommittees of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force and the CSG The Future of Work National Task Force. The members of these subcommittees will work with CSG policy analysts to issue the findings of these task forces in a report following the conclusion of their work at the close of 2020.


With a focus on emerging technologies, the CSG What’s Next? Leveraging Innovation subcommittee is examining how innovations will impact health care in years to come. Members of the subcommittee—which is part of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force—are examining five areas: artificial/ augmented intelligence (AI), 5G, electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine/telehealth and occupational licensure and scope of practice.


During the December 2020 CSG National Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, subcommittee members heard from a variety of experts offering perspectives from medical professional associations, insight on telehealth access and a model for value-based care. Based on their discussions, the subcommittee identified two policy areas to focus on for the remainder of their work: data and barriers to access. The subcommittee’s work on data includes concerns around the interoperability, ownership and quality of data. They are also exploring data privacy, efforts to establish one-patient identifiers—a practice that reduces redundancy and improves accuracy in health records—and strategies to address algorithmic bias as artificial/augmented intelligence develops.

The issue of barriers to access includes concerns like broadband and 5G infrastructure, education of the medical workforce, rural health access, medical licensure, public awareness of healthcare innovations, the future of rural health facilities, healthcare affordability and inclusiveness in an increasingly tech-oriented health care system. Co-chaired by Kentucky state Sen. Stephen Meredith, a former rural hospital CEO, and New Mexico state Rep. Liz Thomson, a physical therapist, the subcommittee is working on issues that have only proven more relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meredith says the challenge of the current crisis is an opportunity for health care innovations to prove their worth. “Opportunity always evolves out of adversity, if we look for it, and this pandemic is no exception,” Meredith said. “The possibility of creating a vaccine within a 12 to 18-month period to prevent this virus is truly revolutionary and could not have even been imagined if it were not for the innovations we have seen and are seeing in technology. It gives hope for the future to be able treat diseases and improve the quality of life

healthy states

EXPERTS ON THE ISSUES During the 2019 CSG National Conference in Puerto Rico, members of the What’s Next? Leveraging Innovation subcommittee members heard from experts on a variety of issues. Here are just a few of their insights:

Kim Horvath of the American Medical Association and Brooke Trainum of the American Nurses Association said telehealth could play a key role in improving health and health care access points in rural communities. Telehealth allows homebound patients to communicate with providers and enables rural providers to reach out to specialists not available in their communities to consult on patient care.

for people suffering from debilitating diseases which have plagued us for decades. What COVID-19 has done is heightened the importance of innovation in healthcare. Emerging technology gives us confidence that we can truly unlock some of greatest mysteries and challenges of life.” For now, Meredith says he’s excited by the subcommittee’s work to address two of the most challenging issues in U.S. health care—affordability and accessibility.

Throughout the remainder of 2020, the subcommittee will continue to explore these issues through webinars and other fact-finding opportunities. A final report, serving as a national framework with best practices and policy recommendations for the states, will be released during the 2020 CSG National Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Anna Read of the Pew Charitable Trusts told the subcommittee about her organization’s initiative to examine what states are doing to increase the deployment of broadband, which can help extend the reach of services like telehealth. She said state broadband activities include setting up a broadband program, creating a dedicated broadband office or tasking an existing agency with responsibility for broadband, establishing a broadband fund or grant program, broadband planning, outreach to stakeholders and adopting digital literacy efforts.


“To date, we have had very few and very limited answers and solutions,” Meredith said. “Leveraging innovation offers unlimited potential in not only addressing these issues, but also vastly improving the quality of healthcare and the quality of life throughout our nation. With knowledge and resulting technology advancing at warp speed, I believe by leveraging technology, we have the potential to finally bend the cost curve of healthcare, which we have failed to address through administrative means.”

Dr. Bridget McCabe, medical director for clinical quality and informatics at telehealth provider Teladoc, told subcommittee members the challenges of providing access to health care are not exclusive to rural communities. Urban centers face them as well. The same is true with telehealth. The infrastructure to enable it needs to be in place so that technological concerns can take a backseat to what is most important—the physician-patient interaction that allows for diagnosis and treatment.


technology and COVID-19

SMART GOVERNMENT The CSG Future of Work National Task Force subcommittee works to solve 21st century challenges and streamline government services

This story is one of a series that will summarize the hard work being done by the subcommittees of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force and the CSG Future of Work National Task Force. The members of these subcommittees will work with CSG policy analysts to issue the findings of these task forces in a report following the conclusion of their work at the close of 2020. Technology has propelled industry and services toward unprecedented levels of engagement and efficiency, and governments are uniquely positioned to leverage the benefits and tools of the new economy. Terms like blockchain technology, the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) have entered the public sector lexicon as constituents expect curated, expedient and accessible government interactions. As a result, public officials are reevaluating traditional systems to drive return on investment and improve delivery of services. In a world that is increasingly digitized and connected, governments are learning the importance of being “smart.” For Massachusetts state Sen. Marc Pacheco, harnessing technology for government services isn’t anything new.


“But the pace of technological evolution is faster today than ever before, and the potential benefits of these advances have become more significant,” Pacheco said.


As co-chair of the CSG Future of Work Smart Government subcommittee, Pacheco sees the value in finding contemporary solutions to traditional government problems. “A modern public sector provides more efficient and more effective public services using technological advances to improve the lives of the citizens we serve,” he said. The Smart Government subcommittee is looking at how state governments can improve both internally and externally through the implementation of new technology and the talent that is required to operate that technology.

The Work So Far During the June 2019 Healthy States National Task Force meeting, members defined the scope of work and brainstormed focus areas to guide the research. At the December 2019 CSG National Conference, the subcommittee narrowed its focus to two themes that will shape the final report. Members heard from Michael Mattmiller of Microsoft who discussed how state leaders can empower the public workforce by adopting the same technology-forward philosophies seen in the private sector and by creating the culture, force and space to attract and retain a younger workforce. Training programs, cyber workshops and online talent recruitment made the list of initiatives state governments should consider as they look ahead with a future mindset on how government can be more proactive in the new economy, Matmiller said. Carol Rogers of the Indiana Business Research Center also spoke to subcommittee members about how state governments can leverage universities as research opportunities for more data-informed decisions as well as for school-to-work pipelines to attract the younger workforce into the public sector. By utilizing technology and public-private partnerships, state governments can become more efficient, effective and engaging while keeping the human element in public service delivery alive, Rogers said.

the future of work

focus Areas & next steps for the Subcommittee As the Smart Government subcommittee concludes its work in 2020, it will primarily work on two identified focus areas:

Effective and Efficient Engagement is a mindset that encourages state governments to be proactive in discovering new trends, navigating old regulations and finding solutions for new problems to provide better accessibility and flexibility for public service workers and services.

I THINK WHEN people hear ‘smart,’ they immediately think about technology and what it can do for us. While that aspect is important, it’s actually not what the subcommittee wants to focus on. They want to keep the ‘human element’ in government work and have been very mindful of policies and practices that create, save and allow people to achieve the career they want in the public sector. To us, a smart government utilizes technology, but it also looks out for its workforce.”

Throughout the remainder of 2020, the subcommittee will continue to explore these issues through webinars and other fact-finding opportunities. A final report, serving as a national framework with best practices and policy recommendations for the states, will be released during the 2020 CSG National Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico in December.

and Opportunities includes policy recommendations for talent development for all demographics, a smarter enablement of technology in government and the idea of using smart data and smart infrastructure to inform and streamline government services for citizens.

For this subcommittee, next steps include further research to identify successful and emerging policies that are worthy of inclusion the final report, which will be unveiled at the 2020 CSG National Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico in December. Leading up to the end of the year, subcommittee members and CSG policy staff will share relevant data and policy examples, communicate via phone and email, and coordinate and attend webinars. To learn more about The Future of Work National Task Force, visit web.csg.org/futureofwork.


—Sierra Hatfield, CSG policy analyst working with the Smart Government subcommittee

21st Century Challenges


technology and COVID-19

CSG Associates in Action Private sector partners share the latest technology advancements and contributions

The following has been submitted directly from private sector partners of The Council of State Governments. This content is shared directly and without any editorial contributions or changes by Capitol Ideas. The content and viewpoints are those of the authors alone.

Bayer | Innovation with Purpose Submitted by Dave Tierney, head of U.S. State and Local Government Affairs for Bayer

When you hear the name Bayer, the first thing you might think of is that little pill with the cross on it—Bayer® Aspirin. But it might surprise you to learn that Bayer is not just in the business of discovering new medicines. Did you know that we’re also a world-class agricultural enterprise? Bayer is a true life sciences company, driven by a powerful mission— Science for A Better Life—to create and deliver advances that tackle society’s most pressing issues. With over 20,000 employees in the United States and three business divisions (Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science) we’re a huge innovation engine, proud to carry out our mission every day in the hopes of achieving a bold vision: Health for all; Hunger for none.


I am excited and humbled by this vision. For me, it encapsulates our mandate to not simply innovate, but to innovate with purpose. In agriculture, our purpose is three-fold:


Serving farmers. Ask a thousand farmers what they need, and you’ll get a thousand different answers—all starting with “HELP!” Help fighting pests, managing risk, reducing costs, increasing yields, improving efficiencies… the list goes on. Bayer serves farmers by bringing a broad suite of tools to the farmgate—crop protection products, seeds, traits, advanced data analytics and digital tools—offering tailored solutions to meet their unique needs. To us, there’s nothing more satisfying than helping solve farmers’ toughest challenges. From the discovery of the world’s newest broad-spectrum herbicide molecule to the invention of next-generation trait solutions like ThryvOn™ for cotton, Bayer’s innovations deliver groundbreaking benefits to farmers.

Improving sustainability. At Bayer, we believe every investment in innovation should also be an investment in sustainability. Our newest innovations not only help farmers tackle agronomic challenges, but also help them preserve soil health, protect wildlife habitat, foster biodiversity and more. Take for example our Climate FieldView™ digital agriculture platform, which supports farmers in making data-driven crop management decisions that lead to using more precise amounts of inputs only where they’re needed. This is truly innovation with a purpose, benefiting farms, fields and our planet. Producing more with less. By 2050, the global population is expected to increase by 30% and food demand by 70%. Farmers must meet this critical challenge using shrinking amounts of land, water and other resources—all while contending with floods, droughts and other ravages of our changing climate. Bayer scientists are making great strides in developing new approaches that both boost crop yields AND preserve resources. An exciting example of this is our short-stature corn—a hybrid developed to be much shorter than more common varieties. With sturdy stalks, more upright leaves and smaller tassels, these plants produce a healthy, high-yielding crop that is less susceptible to wind and other environmental pressures, promising to both increase yields and reduce crop losses.

Innovating for Our Future Bayer employees proudly contribute to advancements in healthcare and agriculture that promise to benefit the world for generations to come, and we welcome the chance to share our work with anyone who will listen. Thanks to Capitol Ideas for providing the opportunity to share it with you.

CSG associates

Esri | Data, the Catalyst for Innovation Submitted by Richard Leadbeater, global manager of State & Provincial Governments for Esri

There is quite a bit written these days about how data is the catalyst for innovation. Though recently, the conversation has turned, and we now realize that understanding innovation requires us to get our data conversations right. Let's call it the “Data Gap,” or that space between a state's desired outcome and their ability to implement evidence-based policies, practices and workflow improvements. All states collect treasure troves of data; data that provides a better understanding of the challenges they face, data from local jurisdictions, or data they pay consultants to collect. Unfortunately, this valuable asset is typically siloed in departments and not accessible to the entire state organization. This need to quickly locate the most current data on any topic is most acutely felt during natural disasters, such as wildfires, weather events and even the flu. States are caught in a scramble to locate the right data needed to respond effectively with each new event. So, authoritative data that is centrally available could save a lot more than just time. Having integrated data would help in developing new and innovative approaches, solutions and policies.

Many states have already started to capitalize on their authoritative data with ArcGIS software. They can do this with software already licensed to rapidly implement solutions at no additional cost using ArcGIS Hub, a community engagement hub that allows organizations to present one authoritative source for data, rapidly enable all departments with applications and tools, improve feedback mechanisms and enhance collaboration between departments and citizens.

The California State Geoportal Allows various departments, and most importantly, California's residents to access just one site to answer questions such as: • What is the sales tax in my area? • What state parks are near me? • What are the fishing regulations for a specific stream? Ultimately, the California State Geoportal could allow not only access to data the state has already amassed, but also combine it with data from both federal and local governments in analyses that will more comprehensively inform government decisions.

Access the Esri COVID-19 GIS Hub: The COVID-19 GIS Hub provides valuable, ready-to-use demographic and other support data from authoritative sources and our user community. You will find practical apps that immediately aid better understanding and decision making. This includes a collection of datasets, applications and other useful content for your planning response.


States already have the technology to unlock the value of their authoritative data holdings. Since most data has a spatial component, agencies with the ArcGIS platform already have access to the tools to access existing data and GIS efforts that allows them to integrate, analyze and visualize the data.

As an example, I'd like to introduce you to the California State Geoportal. The effort to launch the gis-california.opendata.arcgis.com started in the Fall of 2019. More than 40 of California’s state agencies use GIS and maintained data and ArcGIS Hub sites, but these activities were disjointed and a duplication of effort. The state decided to create one authoritative statewide hub that would make all data and tools more centrally accessible. Someone looking for data would no longer have to know which agency was responsible for that data in order to easily find it.


technology and COVID-19

Ancestry | Enabling Journeys of Personal Discovery Submitted by Ritchie Engelhardt director of Government Affairs for Ancestry

Ancestry is the world’s leading family history and consumer genomics company. We believe a deeper understanding of yourself, your heritage and your history helps create deeper connections across generations and uncovers shared experiences that bind us together. That’s why at Ancestry, our mission is to empower journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. Ancestry is one of the world’s largest archives, with over 24 billion digital records that enable our members to make meaningful discoveries. We continuously add new and relevant content to our website, working with federal, state and local governments and historical societies to digitize archival records.

Aside from helping our customers engage in journeys into their past that link to their present, these efforts also provide a significant benefit to state and local governments. When Ancestry digitizes newly released archival records, we provide a copy of the digitized records to the jurisdiction that provided them. These public-private partnerships have saved the government millions of dollars in digitization costs to date and have provided more people greater access to the vital records of their ancestors from around the world. To help millions more accelerate their personal journeys of discovery and make more connections than ever before, we created AncestryDNA, innovating and investing to provide more granular insights on ethnicity, communities, and inherited traits. To date, more than 16 million people have explored their personal genetic profiles and what their genetics have to say about their family history. Most recently, we introduced AncestryHealth to help our customers better understand how their family health history and their genes influence their health. Our goal is to empower people to take proactive steps to improve their well-being.

Our customers choose to make us the repository for their most personal information. We take that trust and responsibility seriously. Protecting our customers’ privacy and being good stewards of their data is Ancestry’s highest priority. In 2018, after more than a year of work with peer companies and the Future of Privacy forum, we published Privacy Best Practices for Consumer Genetic Testing Services. These best practices provide, in addition to the commitments we make to our customers in our terms and conditions and privacy statement, reassurance that our customers remain in control of their personal data, including their genetic information. We also don’t share genetic data with insurance companies, employers or third-party marketers and we never share their data, even for scientific research purposes, without their express opt-in consent. Ancestry, 23andMe, Helix, MyHeritage, Habit, African Ancestry, and Living DNA are all signatories to the Best Practices—representing most available consumer genetic testing services. As a member of the Coalition for Genetic Data Privacy, we are committed to educating policymakers about the Best Practices and our commitment to our customer’s privacy. With science and technology rapidly advancing and an average of two million new records added to our site every day, we are at the beginning of all that is possible to empower people to learn about their family heritage and health. To learn more about Ancestry’s privacy philosophy and practices, visit ancestry.com/privacyphilosophy.

CTA | How Technology Keeps You Connected During Social Distancing


Submitted by Nathan Trail, director of Technology, Policy and State Legislative Affairs for Consumer Technology Association (CTA)


The Consumer Technology Association (CTA®) is North America’s largest technology trade association. Our members range from the world’s largest and most well-known companies, to small businesses and startups, all of which span the full range of consumer-focused technology and innovations. While our members offer a broad scope of products and services, together, their innovations contribute to the progression and wellbeing of our society. In a time of distancing, technology helps connect us to family and friends, distribute valuable information, provide care to the sick and keep industries running. Earlier this month, CTA introduced a new set of industry-created, voluntary principles for virtual care. These recommendations address the use of virtual care tools including telemedicine, remote patient monitoring and real-time communication between patients and clinicians, at a time

when the CDC calls for increased use of telehealth to evaluate, triage and care for patients in the fight against pandemics. In addition, CTA member companies are leading the way in providing remote health solutions to individuals. Remote patient monitoring devices and apps such as Care Predict, BioIntelliSense and Omron can help maintain health while remote and provide data to doctors and caregivers. Immediate remote support from a physician is now accessible from Doctor on Demand, 98point6, Ginger and Simple Health. Likewise, remote patient monitoring enables earlier — and more accurate — diagnoses. As many states are preparing for possible overcrowding in our medical facilities, Humetrix has developed a new COVID-19 severe infection risk screening and warning feature for both consumer and provider users of their iBlueButton platform, which specifically serves the higher

CSG associates

risk Medicare patient population. Blue Spark Technologies is aiding in healthcare organization by remotely monitoring patients’ temperature with COVID-19 with their TempTraq wearable thermometer. On Feb. 25, CTA launched the first-ever industry-led standard for the use of AI in health care, developed by more than 50 organizations. The standard will create a base for the growing use of AI in health care, which will better diagnose diseases, monitor patients and help us live healthier lives. Broadband connectivity offered by CTA’s member companies is keeping our businesses running and helping government officials distribute pressing information to its citizens. Staying connected to constituents and distributing information is critical. To keep our society connected, CTA member companies like Verizon have waived late fees for residential

and small business customers impacted by COVID-19, and now offers free international calling to CDC level 3 countries. It’s important for all of us—lawmakers, industry and individuals—to remain united during this time. By joining together and staying connected, we can create a positive outcome and future for our nation. States are already helping carve the way toward more innovations and advancements that will improve—and even save—lives. CTA’s 2020 Innovation Scorecard, released earlier this year, ranked more states as Innovation Champions than ever before. CTA and our member companies look forward to continuing to work with the Council of State Governments and their members to keep innovating and creating a better, healthier and more connected future.

The Hawthorne Gardening Company | Supporting LED Research and Horticulture Technology Submitted by Brian Herrington, director of Government Affairs for the Hawthorne Gardening Company

Hawthorne Gardening Company is North America’s largest manufacturer and distributor of indoor and hydroponic growing products. Built to serve growers of all sizes, from commercial needs to home hobbyists, Hawthorne houses best-in-class brands – including Gavita, General Hydroponics and Sun System – across lighting, nutrients, growing environment, growing media, hardware, and many more. Hawthorne strives to be the full-service, one-stop partner for both large and small growers. Our newest innovation comes in the form of the Gavita 1700e LED fixture, a full-term light fixture that provides consistent, energy-efficient results for many different plants. The fixture is listed with the Design Lighting Consortium, a non-profit that certifies energy efficient LED lighting, and has a high efficiency of 2.6 μmol s-1 per watt output. This new light was also designed to meet UL8800 certification standards addressing unique worker and facility safety issues applicable to horticulture. The fixture is IP66 wet rated, meaning the fixture is water resistant against powerful water streams making it suitable for horticultural settings. LEDs are an emerging technology for horticulture that is still being improved to successfully and consistently grow plants that deliver profitable crop yields. Plants use light very differently than we do in commercial offices or homes, so regulation and policy need a different strategy especially in emerging industries. In addition, the costs for a single LED fixture are usually hundreds of dollars more expensive versus a conventional horticulture light. Energy efficiency policy continues to evolve across the globe for horticulture, as opposed to residential and commercial office standards which

have been refined for years. With legal cannabis markets coming online in states around the country, energy policy has also been a major focal point. Policymakers must understand that LEDs are an emerging technology in this industry, in part due to the lack of available research and because of federal restrictions. Cultivation requires an extraordinary amount of skill, and switching to LED lighting from traditional horticultural lighting requires a different skill set. Within a facility, light positioning needs to be modified and refined. LEDs give off very little radiant heat compared to legacy technologies requiring climate alterations, and cultivators usually have to adjust or renovate their HVAC systems as well. In addition, the LED fixture itself is an expensive asset at this point. States should encourage utility companies to offer energy rebate services to growers who are interested in installing LEDs and any additional necessary infrastructure. Until growers develop the skills to use LEDs and the technology costs come down, double ended high pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures are the most efficient of the legacy technologies. Our brand Gavita led the way with this technology as well. Horticultural LED technology has experienced major developments but is still being refined and is years behind where LED acceptance is in the home and office lighting space. States can balance energy efficiency standards while maintaining a healthy industry by engaging manufacturers like Hawthorne, growers and energy experts to build policies that support LED research, accessibility to growers and affordability. ISSUE 2 2020 | CAPITOL IDEAS


technology and COVID-19

The East CT • DE • MA • MD • ME • NH • NJ • NY • PA • RI • VT • NB • NS • ON • PE • PR • QC • VI IMPROVING HEALTH MEASURES The Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan foundation that provides analyses on health systems, recognized Rhode Island for improving on 21 of 45 health indicators — the most of any state — in its 2019 Scorecard on State Health System Performance. In its profile of Rhode Island, the foundation highlighted that the state ranked highly on assisting children who need mental health services and had improved on meeting the needs of adults with mental illness.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced the launch of an innovative program designed to encourage graduates of the state’s higher education institutions to build their careers and stay in Connecticut after receiving their diplomas. Launching as a pilot program in Stamford this spring, the Governor’s Innovation Fellowship will expand statewide by 2022 and provides recent and upcoming college graduates the opportunity to start their careers with job placement at a growing, Connecticut-based company. Participants receive access to mentors and a $5,000 grant to help them embark on post-college lives.




The New York Assembly passed legislation to assure that judges determining the division of property in a divorce must consider the effect domestic violence has had on the survivor. Current law does not expressly list domestic violence as a factor for the court to consider. The proposal builds on a comprehensive package of legislation the Assembly passed in 2019 to protect and support survivors of domestic violence. That legislation allows survivors of domestic violence to terminate leases and other legal contracts that may bind them to their abuser, protect

their privacy when seeking physical or mental health services and ensure they are informed of their rights.

MEDICAID TO SCHOOLS New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation creating the Medicaid to Schools program, which makes school districts eligible for Medicaid reimbursement for health care services that schools provide to students enrolled in Medicaid. Services eligible for federal reimbursement include behavioral health services, personal care and rehabilitation therapy services such as physical therapy. The bill was drafted by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services in coordination with the governor’s office, a bipartisan group of legislators, the New Hampshire Department of Education and the New Hampshire Association of Special Education Administrators.

SCIENCE EDUCATION Pennsylvania is making progress on updating the state’s science education standards. The state’s Department of Education identified 60 education professionals to serve as content experts to draft new standards. A draft of the revised benchmarks will be available publicly in the fall. As part of his commitment to science and technology education, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf launched the PAsmart initiative to support K-12 computer science and STEM education, registered apprenticeships and job training.

For more on CSG East, visit capitolideas.csg.org and csg-erc.org.

States Working to Lower Carbon Emissions Connecticut is among 12 northeastern states participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), whose state agencies, together with officials from the District of Columbia, are working to devise a cap-and-invest program for tailpipe emissions. The intent is to transition the region’s transportation system toward electrification and dramatically lower climate-warming pollution from the transportation sector, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide. The program is also expected to enhance public health and lead to new jobs in the clean-energy economy. TCI would limit emissions from the transportation sector and lower that limit, or cap, over time. Bulk fuel suppliers would hold an “allowance” for each ton of pollution they were responsible for. The allowances would be auctioned, and states would have the flexibility to invest the proceeds as they wished. In a draft proposal released in late 2019, participating states said TCI would prioritize issues around equity. Specifically, the program seeks to expand low-carbon and clean-mobility options in historically underserved communities or those heavily affected by transportation pollution. TCI expects to release a final memorandum of understanding (MOU) this spring. Each jurisdiction will then decide whether to sign and participate in the program. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont emphasized the need for a state like Connecticut, which is heavily reliant on natural gas imports from outside the region, to collaborate with its neighbors as it seeks to reduce harmful transportation pollution along the Interstate 96 corridor and promote an offshore wind sector. In 2019, Lamont signed a bill calling for Connecticut to have a carbon-free electric grid by 2040. That came on the heels of historic state legislation in New York setting the same 2040 target for zero-carbon grid power and a goal of reaching carbon neutrality from all sectors of the economy by 2050. A number of other states, including Maine, are aiming to get all of their power from zero-carbon sources by midcentury and to accelerate their carbon reduction goals.

regional round ups

The South AL • AR • FL • GA • KY • LA • MO • MS • NC • OK • SC • TN • TX • VA • WV DIGITAL DOCUMENTS Oklahoma launched a new mobile application, myOklahoma, that will allow residents to request birth certificates and renew vehicle registrations online, according to The Oklahoman. The state is working with PayIt, a digital government startup, which has developed similar programs for Texas and Kansas. The new digital tool will help Oklahomans prepare for the state’s transition to REAL ID driver’s licenses, which must be implemented by Oct. 1, 2021 and will require proof of citizenship or legal resident status as well as a Social Security number to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card. The myOklahoma app is the latest effort by state officials to put more services online and facilitate further digitalization at state agencies.


New App Aims to Reduce Recidivism and Support Re-Entry Programs The North Carolina Department of Public Safety introduced a new app, called Pokket, intended to help reduce recidivism in the state, according to reporting from Government Technology. The app, part of a broader effort to support the prison system’s re-entry programs, is introduced to inmates six months before their scheduled release date. They will continue using it for six months to a year after release. Pokket helps inmates better understand their first months following release from prison, develops a schedule of required appointments and offers a list of resources that are available in their local communities. It also helps inmates track their progress, download important documents and communicate with their probation officers.

During the trial program, North Carolina research institute RTI International, a nonprofit organization, will conduct a five-year study of the app’s effectiveness, funded by the National Institute of Justice. If successful, the program could serve as a model for other states interested in using the Pokket app. A previous study from 2015 showed that about half of released inmates in North Carolina were arrested within two years of leaving prison. The state is hopeful that new technology like the Pokket app can reduce the recidivism rate by giving inmates more opportunities to actively plan for re-entry following their release from prison.

CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION The Augusta Chronicle reported that the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education signed a memorandum of understanding with Fort Gordon’s Cyber Center of Excellence in Augusta, Georgia, allowing U.S. Army personnel to receive education at South Carolina’s post-secondary institutions. Under the signed

ELECTION SECURITY The Georgia Secretary of State’s office announced a new partnership with the Georgia Cyber Center and Augusta University School of Computer and Cyber Sciences to ensure the state’s new electronic voting systems are secure, according to The Augusta Chronicle. Under the partnership, cybersecurity experts will examine the state’s election system, identify potential vulnerabilities and provide state officials with solutions to avoid any intrusions during elections. Georgia is implementing a new voting system that includes secure touchscreens, balloting machines, printers and scanners, a process the Georgia Secretary of State’s office called “the largest onetime transition of elections systems in U.S. history.”

COASTAL RESTORATION Louisiana received more than $155 million in fiscal year 2019 from Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act revenue-sharing funds for coastal restoration efforts, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report. The funds, derived from offshore energy production, are used to support coastal conservation and restoration projects, hurricane protection programs, and activities to implement marine, coastal or conservation management plans. The four Gulf oil and gas producing states — Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — received a total of $353 million in fiscal year 2019, an increase of 64.2% over the previous year.

For more on CSG South, visit capitolideas.csg.org and slcatlanta.org.


The introduction of Pokket will begin with a pilot program that includes 500 inmates at prisons in Wake, Orange, Caldwell, Davidson and Lincoln counties. The state will deploy tablets on which Pokket is downloaded at re-entry prison facilities in the five counties. The re-entry facilities are the final holding systems for inmates soon to be released, providing various educational and vocational resources designed to facilitate re-entry in the community. The tablets can be used only in common areas, and there are strict limits on their usage.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam initiated a new exchange program to foster better understanding and respect between different regions of the state, The Roanoke Times reported. The initiative, known as the Virginia Local Government Exchange Program, is an attempt to address regional disagreements that have arisen between rural areas, which largely are represented by Republicans, and urban and suburban areas, which increasingly are represented by Democrats. The pilot program will include delegations of local officials from Northern Virginia and Southwest Virginia visiting each other’s regions to gain firsthand knowledge of different issues, challenges and cultures.

agreement, U.S. Army personnel can enroll in degree-enhancing coursework for cybersecurity programs in South Carolina. Participating schools include Clemson University, The Citadel, South Carolina State University, Trident Technical College and the University of South Carolina. The collaboration is part of a broader ongoing effort between Georgia and South Carolina to utilize each other’s resources to improve workforce development.


technology and COVID-19

The Midwest IA • IL • IN • KS • MI • MN • ND • NE • OH • SD • WI • AB • MB • ON • SK UPSKILLING WORKERS Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB 2 earlier this year, deepening the state’s commitment to upskilling the state’s workforce, a policy objective that lawmakers say will help employers fill high-demand jobs and prepare individuals for better-paying jobs. The new law codifies TechCred, a state initiative launched in September 2019 that reimburses employers ($2,000 per worker) for the costs associated with a worker earning an industry-recognized, technology-focused credential if it is completed in one year — something known as “micro-credentialing.” Additionally, the state will establish the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program to reimburse postsecondary schools and others for training programs.

SUICIDE PREVENTION Wisconsin will provide grants for peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs in schools under new legislation signed by Gov. Tony Evers in February. Wisconsin currently has a 14.8 suicide mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 residents), which is above the national rate of 14.2. The Department of Public Instruction will establish a competitive grant program to award grants to support an existing peer-to-peer suicide prevention program or to implement a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program at a high school. Selected high schools will receive up to $1,000 and the grant can be renewed for up to three additional school years.




Minnesota is one of a handful of states that passed legislation last year to help college students experiencing homelessness. The state appropriated more than $500,000 for a matching grant program between the state and postsecondary schools. That money will be used to meet immediate student needs that could

otherwise result in a student not completing the term of his or her program. Legislators also allocated $3.5 million over the next two years for Homework Starts at Home, which provides housing assistance to students experience or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

OPPORTUNITY ZONES In early March, Wisconsin became one of the first states to expand incentives for private investments in federally designated Opportunity Zones, a designation created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allowing for certain investments in lower income areas to have tax advantages. The new law signed by Gov. Tony Evers would double tax credits for investors supporting projects in financially strapped, low-income communities across the state. In Wisconsin, which has 120 designated zones, lawmakers saw an opportunity to build on the federal program. This legislation doubles the state’s Opportunity Zone tax exclusion for investors who invest in an Opportunity Fund. Investors receive an additional 10% state capital gains tax reduction if they hold an investment in an Wisconsin Qualified Opportunity Fund for at least five years, and an additional 15% after seven years.

EDUCATION POLICY During North Dakota’s last legislative session — held in 2019 as the state’s sessions are only held in odd-numbered years — passed legislation established a K-12 Education Coordinating Council, an 18-member council that works to identify opportunities for greater collaboration, reviews the delivery of education services and recommends policy changes. In 2020, members of this council, including teachers, legislators, school administrators, school board members, the state executive branch and others will be meeting to discuss these objectives and help improve collaboration on the state’s education policy.

For more on CSG Midwest, visit: capitolideas.csg.org and csgmidwest.org.

Michigan Legalizes Sports Betting In late 2019, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation legalizing sports betting, making the state the fourth in the Midwest to allow these measures. The package of legislation marked the culmination of years of work by lawmakers to change state policy on sports betting and internet gaming. Now Michigan residents will be able to wager on sports events — amateur and professional — and participate in online, casino-style gaming such as poker through the state’s commercial and tribal casinos. According to Whitmer’s office, the Michigan Department of Treasury is estimating a gain in state revenues of $19 million — close to half of which will go to the School Aid Fund ($4.8 million) and a fund ($4 million) that provides financial assistance to firefighters who have developed certain cancers as the result of smoke inhalation and exposure to chemicals. Casinos will pay a state tax rate of 8.4% on their adjusted gross receipts from sports betting; Detroit casinos also will pay a city tax of 1.25%. Mobile sports wagering will be allowed through the state’s licensed casinos. Michigan is the 20th U.S. state to legalize sports betting; Illinois, Indiana and Iowa passed laws in the early part of 2019. In Iowa, through the first five months of fiscal year 2020, 18 state-licensed casinos had handled a total of $212 million in sports wagering, yielding $1.3 million in tax revenue (based on a state tax rate of 6.75%), according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. A little more than half of this activity in Iowa occurred via the internet (mobile phones or other devices). Indiana had collected $3.9 million in taxes from sports betting as of the end of 2019 (the tax rate is 9.5%), with close to 70% of the $162 million in total wagers being made through internet sportsbooks that have partnered with casinos, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission. Michigan is the first state in the Midwest, and fifth in the U.S., to authorize its casinos to offer online poker and other games.

regional round ups

The west AK • AZ • CA • CO • HI • ID • MT • NM • NV • OR • UT • WA • WY • AB • AS • BC • CNMI • GU WILDLIFE SALVAGE PERMITS Approval to establish a pilot program in California allows the Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue wildlife salvage permits through a user- and mobile-friendly web-based portal to people who want to recover, possess, use or transport wild game meat. People can salvage meat for human consumption of any deer, elk, pronghorn antelope or wild pig that has been accidentally killed as a result of a vehicle collision on a roadway within California.


Alaska Expands Telehealth Coverage to Physician Assistants, Prescriptions and Better Insurance Coverage With a new focus on telemedicine and an increased need for remote services through the COVID-19 pandemic, many states are expanding the services and coverages that can be accessed through telemedical sources. Alaska is at the forefront of providing telehealth services for urban, rural, aging and the underserved communities across the state, primarily through Medicaid and tribal health care. Alaska has expanded telemedicine across the state by allowing certain insurance providers to be reimbursed for telemedicine services without an initial in person visit. Intended to enhance access to health care services, primarily mental health and primary care, for Alaskans who have insurance plans regulated by the state, providers who contract with insurers regulated by the state are allowed to reimburse for services delivered through telehealth.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services can also update the Medicaid Preferred Drug List each quarter to take advantage of potential cost savings and improve prescription drug options for patients. This is expected to save the state $2-3 million each year in pharmacy costs.

ACCESS TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES Colorado has increased consumer access to electric motor vehicles by allowing manufacturers to sell their own electric motor vehicles directly to consumers. The state senate passed legislation creating an exception that allows a vehicle manufacturer that makes electric motor vehicles and has no franchised dealers to sell directly to consumers. During this year’s session, New York and

DISPARITIES IN HOME OWNERSHIP A bill introduced to the Oregon House of Representatives would authorize the state’s Housing and Community Services Department to provide grants, loans and technical assistance to organizations working to increase homeownership program access to persons of color. Mortgage loan originators would be required to undergo implicit bias training and an implicit bias component would be added to the real estate licensing exam and continuing education credits. This legislation would also establish a joint task force on Addressing Racial Disparities in Home Ownership.

MENTAL HEALTH Jake’s Law, signed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in March, requires health care insurers to cover mental health without additional barriers in the same way that they cover an annual physical. This new law also creates the Children’s Behavioral Health Services Fund and provides $8 billion for behavioral health services for children who are uninsured or underinsured. It also establishes two other committees to advocate for mental health and suicide awareness including the Mental Health Parity Advisory Committee and the Suicide Mortality Review Team.

For more on CSG West, visit: capitolideas.csg.org and csgwest.org.


In 2016, the Alaska State Medical Board adopted regulations and guidelines for physicians rendering a diagnosis, providing treatment or prescribing, dispensing or administering a prescription drug to a person utilizing telemedical services and without conducting a physical examination. However, the legislation providing that framework only addressed physicians and neglected to provide provisions for physician assistants. Recent legislation amended this law, aligning it with the intent of the Medicaid Reform Bill and clarifying that physician assistants can provide telemedicine services.

The Wyoming state legislature recently passed a bill that will strengthen behavioral health treatment and programming for people in the criminal justice system with evidencebased practices and robust quality assurance measures. As part of the state’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative, this helps develop standardized, evidence-based practices and guidelines for behavioral health programming in the criminal justice system, requires behavioral health providers and the Department of Corrections to share assessments of substance addiction and mental health and creates a quality improvement unit within the DOC to monitor the use and application of these assessments statewide.

Pennsylvania put forth copies of this bill and it is expected that Texas, Georgia and Washington will have similar bills next session.


technology and COVID-19

Words from our Members � Encompassing four regions, 50 states, six territories, all three branches of state government and nearly 15,000 members, The Council of State Governments can be described in many ways. It is a convening organization that brings state leaders together to discuss issues of mutual importance. It is a depository for research on policy topics. It is a mechanism for interstate partnerships and collaborative relationships. Through idea sharing, collaboration and problem-solving partnerships, CSG champions excellence in state government to advance the common good. Hear from our members on how they utilize what CSG has to offer.

Judge Gene Zmuda OHIO CSG provides an opportunity for elected officials to collaborate with people in our state and across the nation to resolve issues directly impacting our communities. Working for a common good is the reason CSG exists. For me, as a judge, CSG helped me make sure I don’t leave any stone unturned as I administer justice. CSG has taught me that it isn’t about the individual, it’s about working with others to resolve issues.


Sen. Lou D’Allesandro 58

NEW HAMPSHIRE My service as national chair was a tremendous experience. I’ve been able to tell my colleagues across the country about CSG. I tell them to use this valuable resource and communicate with each other and get the word out. Especially in these difficult times, we couldn’t do without the resources. It’s critical to our decision making.

CSG members

Tommy Druen KENTUCKY OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER My most direct involvement with CSG stems from being a 2019 Toll Fellow. Through that experience, I was able to connect with state leaders throughout the nation. Ever since the program, but most especially during the time of the COVID-19 situation, we have reached out to each other to see how our respective states are addressing issues. CSG has been a great resource for policy information and research. However, I believe their greatest role may be fostering collegiality and conversations that transcend our state borders. I believe that was the vision Henry Toll had and is being fulfilled by CSG each and every day.

Rep. Rick Youngblood IDAHO Where else can legislators or public servants get together and talk about important issues? CSG has such a knowledgeable staff that connects us on the most important national issues. It’s so valuable.

Rep. Liz Thomson I have benefited greatly from my association with CSG. Participating in the Toll Fellowship and the Western Leadership Academy have allowed me to develop my skills as a leader, but also as a person. The meetings, conferences, etc. are great opportunities to learn new things and to dig deep in important and needed subjects, such as health care. And the opportunity to network with others and share ideas, successes and failures allows me to be a better legislator.




final facts


for $2000, Alex.

While it may seem like these things have been around forever, you might be surprised at the life-changing conveniences that only came about in the past two decades. So before you go, push pause on Netflix, pop a coffee pod into the Keurig and curl up with these quick facts on recent tech inventions.

The first computer mouse

Hey Siri, did you know that the first machine to RECOGNIZE THE

was a wooden box containing a circuit board and two metal wheels.

HUMAN VOICE was a 1911 toy dog named

Radio Rex?

The first self-contained

D I G I TA L CA M E R A recorded images to a mounted cassette tape.

“Keurig” means “excellence” in Dutch. The first


robot vacuum cleaner

released for online sale was

Duran Duran’s Electric Barbarella.

to go into production was

“ELECTROLUX TRILOBITE,” so named because it resembled the ancient ocean arthropod.

Early military ‘’handheld’’

GPS devices weighed around 35 lbs.


Harald Bluetooth


BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY. The technology’s logo is composed of the king’s initials, “H.B.”.

The Big Lebowski was the most rented movie the first year Netflix was in business.

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COVID-19 CSG is closely monitoring this evolving health crisis and is working to bring our members the latest resources to assist their communities.

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Capitol Ideas | 2020 | Issue 2 | Technology and COVID-19  

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