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Govs to Congress: Don't sleep on cyber aid

The National Governors Association this week urged federal lawmakers to act soon on passing legislation that would offer assistance to state and local governments for cybersecurity efforts. In a statement Tuesday, the group said it “commends” Congress for “taking a critical step forward” in helping states and municipalities defend their IT infrastructure from malicious actors, but added that members should go a bit further and actually pass a bill that would create a dedicated grant program. The House and Senate have deliberated several different bills on that topic in the last few months, most recently the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which would create a $400 million annual cybersecurity grant program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Benjamin Freed reports.

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With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Make your nominations for the StateScoop 50

The nomination period for the StateScoop 50 awards, recognizing the people and projects who are redefining state government with technology, has been extended through next Friday, March 6. Submit who you think is doing the best and most inspiring work in tech policy, cybersecurity, innovation and IT leadership. Voting begins next month, and winners will be announced in May at StateScoop's reception during NASCIO's midyear conference. Submit your nominations.

South Dakota hires new IT commissioner

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Wednesday announced that Jeffrey Clines, who currently serves as the IT director for the Illinois secretary of state’s office, will join her Cabinet as commissioner of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications. As secretary of BIT, Clines will head a statewide IT organization responsible for broadband administration, including a network serving 151 school districts. The state's chief information officer, Pat Snow, will remain in his role under Clines, officials said. Colin Wood reports.

Nine curb-monitoring, accessibility startups join NYC transit accelerator

New York-area transit agencies may soon begin testing some new technologies to improve accessibility, raise additional revenue and reduce traffic congestion, following an announcement Thursday that named the participants of a regional startup accelerator program. The ventures include a company that's developing technology that converts public audio announcements into text messages for users who are deaf or hard of hearing, and another group whose app awards users "points" for using transit, which can be redeemed for rewards, like a latte or a massage. Only in New York.

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