NEWS: Jan. 12, 2011
Finance | Illinois
Governor Wins 66% Income-Tax Hike
Legislative Democrats handed Gov. Pat Quinn a major political victory by voting to raise the state income tax by 66 percent to shore up a budget facing an expected $15 billion deficit. However, lawmakers voted down a bid to borrow $8.75 billion to pay bills owed by the state and rejected a $1.01-a-pack hike in the state cigarette tax.
Virginia Governor Scales Back Liquor Privatization Plan
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is pursuing a new liquor privatization plan he hopes will be easier to swallow, proposing that the state retain control of the wholesale operation while privatizing the retail portion to reap up to $400 million for transportation.
Education | Detroit
Deficit Plan Would Close Half of City's Schools
The Detroit public schools' emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb, filed a deficit-reduction plan with the state that would close nearly half of the city's 142 schools in the next two years and increase high-school class sizes to 62 by the following year.
Public Officials | The Nation
Fired Park Police Chief Reinstated
Teresa C. Chambers, the former U.S. Park Police chief who was removed in 2003 for voicing concerns about staffing shortages, could be back on the job next month after federal officials ordered her reinstatement, citing a lack of proper evidence.
City Manager to Head Wyoming Health Dept.
Casper City Manager Tom Forslund will become director of the Wyoming Department of Health in the first move of what Gov. Matt Mead indicated may be a significant shakeup of the agency.
Lawyer Tapped to Be Pennsylvania Environmental Chief
Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Corbett is nominating Michael Krancer, a lawyer governors of both parties have named to a state environmental board, to be environmental-protection secretary.
San Francisco Administrator Is Interim Mayor
Security | The Nation
Real Threats or Bluster?
As the FBI investigates the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a review of hundreds of cases involving threats to congressional lawmakers from 2000 to 2009 demonstrates just how hard it is to discern the real threats from mere bluster.
New York Times
Capitol Police Radios Still Not Encrypted
More than 10 years after 9/11, the U.S. Capitol Police still conducts its daily operations on an analog, non-encrypted radio network that can be effortlessly monitored with a cheap police scanner.
Public Workforce | The Nation
Bill Would Extend Federal Pay Freeze
Legislation introduced in Congress would freeze federal employees' pay for a third year, cut the federal workforce by 10 percent and enact several other proposals from the White House's deficit-reduction commission. President Obama and Congress last month enacted a two-year freeze to federal employees' pay scales.
Administration | Rhode Island
Governor: No Talk Radio for Workers
Unlike his predecessor Donald L. Carcieri, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee doesn't plan to spend his own time on talk radio, and he is banning state employees from doing so on their state work time. A spokesman said Chafee doesn't think state resources should be used to support "for-profit, ratings-driven programming."
Technology | The Nation
House Moving 520 Websites to Open-Source
The U.S. House is moving its 520 websites to the Drupal open-source platform, and the 93 freshmen members will get the new platform first. The websites now operate on a mix of proprietary and open-source content-management systems.
Federal Computer Week
HP Loses DoD Electronic Health Records Contract
The General Services Administration terminated a contract with HP Enterprise Services once touted as a "fundamental restructuring" of the Defense Department's major electronic health record system.
Health Care | Arizona
Report: Only Arizona Cut Kids' Health Insurance
Arizona was the only state to cut health insurance for children last year and one of just two states to reduce health services for low-income families, according to a 50-state survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
Feds: New York City Overbilled Medicaid by Millions
The federal government has accused New York City of overbilling Medicaid by "at least tens of millions of dollars" by improperly approving 24-hour home care for thousands of patients.
New York Times
Infrastructure | Massachusetts
State Auditor: 100 Municipal Dams at Risk
A hundred major municipal dams across the state are in poor condition and could cause significant property damage if they failed, Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci reported. DeNucci called on the legislature to establish a no-interest loan program to help communities pay for the repairs.
Environment | The Nation
Water Utilities Urged to Test for Chromium
The Environmental Protection Agency recommended that water utilities nationwide test drinking water for hexavalent chromium. The new guidelines acknowledge the growing concern over the cancer-causing form of chromium, known as chromium-6.
>> More news, analysis, resources and events: GovManagement.com
>> Follow GovManagement on Twitter
“I have it in my desk, ready to turn in.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown, whose own state-issued cellphone is among the 48,000 he is ordering state employees to give up in a move aimed at saving the state about $20 million a year
Number of Americans' personal records that were exposed in 2010 due to military and government data breaches, a fraction of the 79.4 million exposed in 2009 despite an increase in the number of data-breach incidents, according to a study by the Identify Theft Resource Center
Technology | Craig Settles
How Communities Can Get the Broadband They Need
The giant telecommunications providers' definition of "market" is smothering national broadband goals. It's time for communities to step up and embrace the market in its true form, making it clear to the telcos that they will use their purchasing power and political clout to get the broadband they need and want through private- and/or public-sector solutions.
International City/County Management Association
Web conference on Community Resilience: Strategies to Weather the Bad Times, Thrive in the Good Times
Jan. 13, 1 p.m. ET
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Jan. 19-21 | Washington, D.C.
Center for American Progress
Discussion: a District-by-District Evaluation of U.S. Educational Productivity
Jan. 19, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.
National Association of State Energy Officials
Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference
Jan. 28-Feb. 3 | Washington, D.C.
Outlook in the States & Localities Conference
Feb. 1-2 | Washington, D.C.
American Society for Training and Development
Feb. 2-4 | San Jose, Calif.
Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education
Program on Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies
Feb. 2-25 | Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education
Program on Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage
Feb. 6-11 | Cambridge, Mass.
National Association of Secretaries of State
Feb. 11-14 | Washington, D.C.
Conference on Human Capital Management For Defense
Feb. 14-17 | Alexandria, Va.
Conference on Social Media for Government
Feb. 14-17 | Washington, D.C.
Feb. 17, 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.
>> Full events listings