GovWin SLED Coronavirus Recon
Published: October 16, 2020
GovWin's SLED Coronavirus Recon, produced by Deltek's SLED Market Research team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by state, local, and educational (SLED) entities and the contractors that support them.
- Pandemic elevated CIOs' roles, NASCIO survey finds
- The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made state chief information officers as prominent as they’ve ever been in their governments, according to an annual survey being released by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.
- The pandemic exposed cybersecurity shortcomings, NASCIO study finds
- Like their CIO colleagues, state chief information security officers have faced no shortage of new and sudden challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a biennial survey released by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.
- Chatbots were a 'godsend' for states' pandemic responses, CIOs said
- Machine learning-powered chatbots were instrumental in allowing states to deal with the “tsunami” of unemployment claims earlier this year, Arizona Chief Information Officer J.R. Sloan told a virtual conference audience.
- How Indiana's data-privacy policies prepared the state for COVID-19
- In an online conference hosted by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, Indiana Chief Privacy Officer Ted Cotterill encouraged other states to consider adopting his state’s privacy model, which he said was invaluable to policymakers this year as they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Agency IT chiefs see ways to improve mission services in pandemic
- The pandemic is pushing government agencies to bring agility to the mission and improve digital services for citizens, according to federal and industry IT leaders.
- During the crisis, agencies were forced to accelerate key technology deployments to meet unexpected demands for online services and to improve secure remote work connections for employees, said IT leaders interviewed in a video series on preparing a future-ready government.
- (Washington) Inslee Announces Statewide ‘Recovery Group’ for COVID-19
- Inslee announced the creation of the Washington Recovery Group. Operating under the state Office of Financial Management (OFM), the group is intended to coordinate with state agencies to help in recovery efforts with local governments, higher education and the private sector, Inslee said.
- U.S. tops 60,000 daily coronavirus infections for first time since early August
- For the first time since early August, the number of newly reported coronavirus infections in the United States on Thursday topped 60,000. More than 36,000 people are hospitalized nationally with covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, amid a long-feared autumnal rise of infections and serious illnesses.
Funding and Economic Impact
- (Maryland) Montgomery County Council criticizes county executive over coronavirus aid
- Montgomery County Council members questioned why only a fraction of millions of dollars in aid for residents hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic had been spent in the Maryland county.
- (New York) Governor Cuomo Announces State Will Withhold Funds for Localities and Schools in COVID-19 Cluster Zones That Fail to Enforce Public Health Law
- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State will withhold funds for localities and schools in COVID-19 cluster zones that fail to enforce public health laws.
- (Nevada) State allocating grants to small businesses
- Nevada small businesses and nonprofits have until Nov. 2 to apply for grant money through the state to help with a variety of needs including rent, payroll or purchasing personal protection equipment.
- $50 Million in Funding Available for Small Businesses in Tennessee
- Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recently announced that the Supplemental Employer Recovery Grant ("SERG") program will distribute $50 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds through the Tennessee Department of Revenue ("TDOR") to help Tennessee small businesses cover eligible direct expenses or costs incurred as a result of business interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SERG program will distribute funds directly to small businesses that qualify based on a first-come, first-served basis.
- COVID-19 Prompts States To Start Tapping Financial Reserves
- The coronavirus pandemic reversed many states’ plans to infuse more money into their rainy day funds—which, at the start of fiscal year 2020, amounted nationally to the largest fiscal cushion in at least two decades. At least 36 states had signaled plans to make additional deposits; instead, the fiscal and economic whiplash inflicted by the outbreak prompted at least 17 states to make or authorize withdrawals in fiscal 2020.
- Nebraska coronavirus website provides CARES Act funds report
- A new feature has been released on the Nebraska coronavirus website that will provide more detailed reporting about the received funding for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Security (CARES) Act.
- Virginia budget negotiators reach deal
- A budget deal reached by General Assembly negotiators would provide bonuses for state workers, give a financial boost to community mental health services statewide and restore funding for early childhood education programs.
- (Illinois) Layoffs, cutting vacant jobs all part of Preckwinkle’s $6.9 billion budget plan to ride out COVID-19 storm
- Cook County officials proposed a $6.9 billion budget, closing a $409.2 million shortfall through a mix of layoffs, cutting vacant positions and tapping into reserves.
- Michigan lawmakers expand unemployment benefits, pass business COVID liability
- Michigan’s Legislature announced a deal to continue expanded unemployment insurance eligibility and provide businesses with new legal protections against COVID-19 lawsuits.
- COVID-19 coverage safety net has plenty of holes in U.S.
- Even though many insurers and the U.S. government have offered to pick up or waive costs tied to the virus, holes remain for big bills to slip through and surprise patients.
- Hawaii steps up spending for coronavirus tests and tracing ahead of tourism’s return
- Hawaii is spending $30 million in federal Cares Act money to purchase “hundreds of thousands” of additional COVID-19 tests and equipment as the state cautiously reopens tourism and the local economy.
- CMS will reimburse for 11 new telehealth services during the public health emergency
- Providers have 11 additional telehealth services that will be reimbursed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- States seek more federal funds as Medicaid enrollment grows
- The number of Americans on Medicaid continues to rise as people lose their insurance during the economic downturn, but policy experts disagree on how much additional funding states facing higher costs may need.
- (Washington) State Provides Funding To Help Thousands More People In Washington State Access Behavioral Health Care Closer To Home
- The Washington State Department of Commerce awarded 22 projects a total of $33.8 million in grants to support 395 new beds and outpatient services that will assist people with a wide variety of behavioral health needs and offer local community placements for people leaving Eastern and Western State Hospitals.
- (Missouri) State releases COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan
- State health director Dr. Randall Williams said the state’s vaccine distribution plan has three phases. The first phase begins with people essential to other people’s care – such as health care workers – the second expands to more groups of people, and then the third is general availability.
- Kansas To Spend $53 Million To Expand COVID-19 Testing, Gov. Kelly Announces
- Kansas is planning to spend $53 million to expand COVID-19 testing measures such as supplies, additional staff, and any other resources necessary to expand testing. Funds will be distributed to communities that are granted the extra money through submission of proposals to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
- Still Slammed by Unemployment, States Try to Avoid Tax Hikes
- As a historic wave of layoffs continues, states are grappling with evaporating funds for unemployment benefits that could force cuts to those payments or hikes in business taxes.
- (West Virginia) SNAP Stretch program restarts with additional funding
- West Virginia officials announced that benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can now be stretched again at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and local food retailers statewide thanks to a $100,000 allocation of federal CARES Act funding to the “SNAP Stretch” program.
- Wisconsin DPI records a 3% drop in public school enrollment amid COVID-19 pandemic
- The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced a 3% drop in enrollment in public schools across the state for the 2020-2021 school year.
- (New Hampshire) School Districts Seek More COVID-19 Relief Funding
- Most of the state’s 276 school districts need financial help keeping the doors open safely during COVID-19 and could need as much as $70 million from the CARES Act state allocation.
- Virginia Beach’s new online COVID dashboard offers virus stats by school
- On the first day of the month, someone who later tested positive for the coronavirus was inside the Virginia Beach school administration headquarters. That same day, about six miles away, another positive case was inside Green Run High School. And two people bouncing along on two different school buses that day would also find out they had the coronavirus. That data comes courtesy of a “COVID Dashboard” the Virginia Beach school district unveiled Thursday on its website. The dashboard identifies each school — or school bus — that has a positive case and the date that the person was there, among other details.
- (Florida) Which area schools have the most COVID-19 cases? What state data shows
- A spokesperson for Duval County schools said the number of total cases on the district’s dashboard doesn’t match what the state is reporting because the dashboard only reports Duval County Public School employee or student cases impacting school operations, not the total number of employees or students diagnosed with COVID-19. Additional cases may be students or staff that are working or learning remotely.
- (California) COVID-19 Pandemic Intensifies Disaster Recovery Challenges for K-12 Schools
- Local education officials in disaster-affected areas said the pandemic exacerbated mental health issues, delayed recovery projects, and more. Officials said student mental health was a top priority but services needed to treat disaster-related issues were not readily available.
- The U.S. Department of Education awarded nearly $1.4 billion to help schools recover from these disasters. Some local officials said the pandemic made it difficult to use these funds.
- (Minnesota) During COVID-19, student enrollment is declining in Twin Cities public school districts
- The pandemic appears to be driving the enrollment declines. Families are reporting that they are worried about being exposed to COVID-19 or not satisfied with the learning options their districts are offering.
- Hirono, Booker Announce Legislation to Improve Distance and Blended Learning for K-12 Schools During COVID-19
- Senator Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced their plan to introduce the Learning Opportunity and Achievement Act (LOAA), to improve distance and blended learning in public schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
- LOAA combats instructional loss, particularly for at-risk and marginalized students, by providing support for professional development and training programs for teachers, tutoring and academic services, research and best practices, and other initiatives to enhance equity and access for all students.
- Mass. School Districts, Parent Scientists Take COVID-19 Testing Into Their Own Hands
- Six Boston-area districts have teamed up with a group of volunteer scientists as part of what is called the Safer Teachers, Safer Students: Back-to-School SARS-CoV-2 Testing Collaborative Pilot. The goal is to help public schools determine what kind of testing they may need and help them get it.
- Pennsylvania state universities asks for $35 million more in state funding for 2021-22
- With a goal of keeping education at the state’s 14 public universities affordable, the State System of Higher Education voted to ask the state to increase its appropriation for next year by nearly $10 million.
- Freshman enrollment drops significantly at U.S. universities and community colleges.
- Freshman enrollment has dropped more than 16 percent from last year at American colleges and universities — and by nearly a quarter at community colleges — as the threat of the coronavirus has disrupted the nation’s higher education system, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported.
- COVID-19 Insurance Issues in the Higher Education Community
- With these institutional policy changes come certain categories of losses and liabilities, many of which colleges and universities have already been incurring, from lost revenue to college tuition refund lawsuits. As higher education institutions look toward the fall, they can expect to feel the impact of the pandemic in both continued and new forms.
- Coronavirus cases surpass 5,000 in Michigan schools, colleges
- Coronavirus cases connected to outbreaks in Michigan’s K-12 schools and colleges jumped 26 percent in a week, according to a state report.
- The number of schools and colleges with outbreaks is up from the previous week, as are the number of cases, paralleling an increase in coronavirus cases statewide in recent weeks.
- (Washington, DC) LeBlanc discusses pandemic’s impact on higher education with college leaders
- In the panel, the attendees discussed topics like the role of universities in racial and socioeconomic injustices, as well as needed systematic change. Other areas addressed were ideas behind reducing tuition and costs for undergraduate students.
- Montana Universities Expanding State’s Testing Capacities
- Governor Bullock has announced an additional round of public health grants allocated toward tribal and local governments in need of further financial assistance. The Governor also announced that the University of Montana lab is planning to expand test sampling from 40 to 50 per day to 1,000 tests per day as soon as possible.
Justice & Public Safety
- How COVID accelerated smart city development
- Some governments are using the opportunity to increase their technology investment, specifically in smart city components. By reducing the spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously rejuvenating economic growth in their cities, they can kill two birds with one stone.
- SC Department of corrections to spend nearly a million to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in prisons
- The State Department of corrections is spending close to one million dollars on air purifiers to combat the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.
- Administration wants to exclude ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ from coronavirus safety grant
- The Transportation Department said it will use a presidential memo calling for punishing “anarchist jurisdictions” when deciding which cities should get money under a coronavirus grant program. The American Public Transportation Association said the declaration could undermine applicants for the pandemic safety grants from Seattle, Portland, Ore., or New York City, the first three jurisdictions the Trump administration has deemed to be “permitting anarchy.”
- (Massachusetts) MBTA investments shrink in Baker's post-pandemic budget
- Gov. Charlie Baker's updated annual budget would direct less money to the MBTA's operations than the version he filed before the pandemic hit Massachusetts, but the cash-strapped transit agency is still in line for a potential funding boost.
- New York State Comptroller: MTA is facing ‘the greatest crisis in its long history’
- The comptroller’s annual report labels MTA’s financial condition as dire with limited options available to help the situation short of another infusion of federal stimulus funds.
- (California) 'Game changer.' How COVID-19 will change our commutes around the Sacramento region
- A significant moment is approaching, he said, that will impact our transportation networks, land use decisions and air quality.
- (Massachusetts) MBTA ferry could be canceled permanently
- The MBTA ferry connecting Hingham and Hull to Boston could see service cuts or be canceled entirely and the commuter rail could have reduced service as the transit agency faces a budget shortfall brought on by low ridership during the pandemic.
- Amtrak: Additional funding needed soon to avoid additional service and employment reductions
- Amtrak says without additional funding, impacts on customers, employees and projects include the reduction of corridor trains as state partners are forced to suspend service, and the deferment of numerous capital projects and procurement.
- (Maine) Officials tout the economic role of public transportation during COVID-19 awareness event
- Employees deemed "essential" during the pandemic often rely on public transportation, and it needs to remain safe to support a vital link in the state's economy, a group of state and local officials said Thursday.
- COVID-19 recovery funds dwarf clean energy investment needs
- Governments around the globe are responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–related economic crisis with unprecedented economic recovery packages (1), which at the time of writing surpassed USD 12 trillion.
- Energy’s covid recovery
- Many Environmentalists had hoped that one silver lining of the pandemic would be a drop-off in energy consumption, particularly the sort causing greenhouse-gas emissions. And indeed, in its latest World Energy Outlook report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that this spring consumption declined by 25% in countries under strict lockdowns, and by 18% in countries with more lenient ones. In total, the IEA expects energy demand to sink this year by 5%, with carbon-dioxide emissions from energy dropping even more rapidly, by 7%.