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White House gets into in civic tech

Just over a year after taking the role of Code for America CEO during the coronavirus pandemic, Amanda Renteria said she feels the work of building sustainable digital service delivery for state and local agencies is just beginning. She told StateScoop that the circumstances surrounding local government over the past year have encouraged more collaboration in the government technology community. That includes, she said, collaboration between Code for America and the Biden administration. "A lot of conversations [with the administration] are wondering, ‘How does it really work out there? What’s really going on?" she said. Ryan Johnston reports.

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Improving elections, one map at a time

As part of an ongoing project to modernize record-keeping practices that date back to the 1970s, Shasta County, California, is becoming more sophisticated in how it uses GIS technology to back its voting systems, local officials said during an online event Thursday. Shasta County is one of several local governments that in 2020 signed onto a pilot program led by the National States Geographic Information Council designed to integrate geospatial technology into the nation’s voting systems. “A lot of folks use GIS to make great informative maps, but this project really also lets us dig into data quality, which is the bedrock foundation of a good election,” said Cathy Darling Allen, Shasta County’s clerk and registrar of voters. Colin Wood has details.

The Florida Files

A bill in Florida that could’ve given the state some of the most aggressive consumer data privacy rules in the country will not become law after the state House and Senate could not agree on a key provision involving the right of individuals to sue companies that mishandle their personal information. The measure died as Florida’s legislative session came to an end before the chambers could resolve their differences over what’s known as a private right of action — the ability for people to sue companies for individual complaints. Similar disagreements have led to the demise of privacy bills elsewhere, including Washington state. Benjamin Freed has more.

House members to try again on state and local cyber grants

Leaders of the House Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity subcommittee said this week they will attempt to once again pass legislation that creates a robust federal grant program supporting state and local governments. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., said that in the “coming days,” she’ll introduce a new version of the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which passed the House last year with broad bipartisan support but didn’t advance in the Senate. The hearing came about a week after a tech industry task force’s sprawling report on how to combat ransomware, which is now considered a national-security threat. Read more from Wednesday's hearing.

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