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State and Local Stories You Need to Know

The sheer amount of news can be overwhelming. Never mind the time spent determining what news stories are relevant to you and which aren’t. In order to save you some time we’ve collected this week’s four most important state and local stories for this State and Local Spotlight.

More than 30 state chief information officers recently met in Washington, D.C. to participate in a National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ (NASCIO) annual meeting. The leaders met with representatives from the Department of Homeland Security to learn about federal resources available to states and how to take advantage of them. For the 7th year in a row, cybersecurity has topped NASCIO’s priorities list and will continue to be the focus of partnerships and meetings moving forward.

As many managers in the state workforce approach the retirement age, many states are facing a potential brain drain. In reaction, many states are now creating offices to employ innovative tactics to keep senior workers on the job and attract seasoned private sector employees to the government. Additionally, states are using data to find out who is leaving and why in order to streamline their retention efforts with older workers.

Citizens have come to expect data sharing and transparency across departments and levels of government. Recently, this has taken the form of fostering transparency through open-data, but also increasing economic benefits to develop a better relationship with their citizenry and increase their quality of life. However, providing open data to citizens can be challenging, as governments must ensure that data is accurate, current and accessible. This is essential to maintaining public trust and confidence in information and the government.

According to a recent Public Agenda report, “Public Spending, by the People,” spending public funds through participatory budgeting is one of the fastest growing forms of public engagement. The significance of participatory budgeting stems from its ability to empower residents, strengthen civic engagement and potentially rebuild the public’s trust in the government. While participatory budgeting representation varies across demographics, supporters are optimistic about its ability to bring underrepresented communities into the mainstream political process. Participatory budgeting funds are largely spent on parks and recreation projects and schools but specific initiatives varied by city and the participants’ needs.

We hope you find this post helpful and informative. Keep following State and Local Spotlight for more insights and digestible overviews of the week that was.

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