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D.C. says it's committing to digital services

Washington, D.C., will spend $4 million this year building a digital services team to make government more accessible and reliable for residents. The team's first project will be creating a "new digital shop" for small businesses navigating local regulations. “It’s something that a number of mayors have contemplated, and [Mayor Muriel Bowser] recognizes that in order to build back better post-COVID-19, you really need to make sure we’re focused on our small businesses,” city CTO Lindsey Parker said. The District has been criticized throughout the pandemic for its digital government products, including an archaic unemployment website and a <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/washington-dc-vaccination-website-crashes/">botched vaccine scheduling site</a>. Ryan Johnston reports.

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Attention White Lotus guests

After hinting at plans earlier this year his state would create a COVID-19 vaccine passport, Hawaii Gov. David Ige again this week mentioned work by the state’s technology department to develop what he called an “electronic health pass." Ige said in April that the state had been working with vendors since last September on such a product, and while IT officials had once aimed for a July 4 launch, they're now saying they do "not have a timeline for completion," even as other states go ahead with vaccine passes of their own. Colin Wood has details.

West Virginia's online business portal hits 1 million transactions

While D.C. envisions a small-business-facing digital service, West Virginia officials recently notched the 1 millionth transaction conducted on theirs, Secretary of State Mac Warner, whose office oversees the four-year-old WV One Stop Business Portal, told StateScoop. The state now conducts 99% of all business filings online, making it easier for people to create businesses and for the state to collect revenues, according to Warner's office. “The fees are paying for itself," he said. Benjamin Freed has more.

A special report on pandemic relief funding

Over the past 18 months, the federal government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into state and local coffers to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic. While much of that money was spent on scaling up unemployment services and the rigors of remote work, the more recent funds provided by the American Rescue Plan are giving CIOs in many places a chance to pursue projects they feared might be wiped away by the health crisis. See the full report.

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