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Vaccine effort moved officials to tears, New Hampshire CIO says

The collaborative effort between state IT, public health and local officials in standing up New Hampshire’s COVID-19 vaccination program earlier this year was so impressive it made government leaders emotional, state CIO Denis Goulet said during an online event this week. "Everyone became part of that effort,” he said. “It actually brought tears to our eyes a couple times.” Goulet said the state's vaccine management system, which launched in March after a federally designed one struggled, was the biggest achievement in a crisis marked by the need for constant delivery of government services.   Benjamin Freed has more.

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Time to get creative

On a new episode of StateScoop's Priorities podcast, Ben joins Colin Wood to break down how IT leaders are reacting to President Biden's signing of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. Then, NASCIO government affairs director Matt Pincus says that while the group's members are excited for $65 billion in new broadband spending and $1 billion in cybersecurity grants, they're not "spiking the football" just yet. “You’re not looking at a significant windfall of funding, so states are going to need to be creative in what they do,” Pincus said. Listen to the podcast.

Is this guy the most bitcoin-eager mayor yet?

Mayor Sam Conger of Jackson, Tennessee, said during a virtual conference this week that he’s committed to figuring out a method for his 70,000-person city to hold bitcoin as a currency. Conger said he became enamored with cryptocurrency during the pandemic, and even looked into spending between $50,000 and $100,000 in public funds to set up bitcoin-mining rigs — the energy-guzzling computers that unlock new tokens — inside city hall, only to be shot down by the state comptroller. He also said he believes the U.S. dollar, a global reserve currency, will one day "go away." Ryan Johnston has the story.

Approaching 98%

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced 18 broadband infrastructure projects to begin building an open-access network across much of the state. Newsom’s office said the network will be state-owned and serve as “middle-mile” broadband infrastructure, meaning that it will connect local networks in underserved areas to high-speed service providers far away. Ryan has the story.

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