THE 50 STATES

THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES: Maine to Wyoming

What's up in your agency?

For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2225 or e-mail widizard@gcn.com. For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail twalsh@gcn.com.

ALABAMA

GRAPHICS SHOP. The state Information Services Division develops and enhances Web graphics for state agencies on a fee-for-service basis. The division offers custom seals, logos, digital photo enhancement, icons, menu buttons and Web site design.

The division also maintains a Web site for agencies to pick up commonly used logos, at www.isd.state.al.us/graphics.html.

ALASKA

"A' STANDS FOR ADIOS. If you live in a state that starts with the letter A, chances are good that your state's chief information officer recently quit. In addition to Alaska, CIOs in Arizona and Arkansas have left for the private sector. Mark Badger, former CIO of Alaska, resigned to accept a job with Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif. Badger is Cisco's new public sector Internet business development manager. He will oversee Internet projects in Cisco's state and local government sector.

Badger is a natural for the Internet development slot; as Alaska's CIO, he worked to move as many government services as possible online (GCN/State & Local, October 1998, Page 12).


The Information Services Division
of Alabama's Finance Department jazzes
up Web logos for state agencies on
a fee-for-service basis.


ARIZONA

FAVORITE GIG. John Kelly, Arizona's CIO, has resigned from his state job and last month joined Intel Corp.

Kelly spent 15 years in government, the last three as director of Arizona's Government Information Technology Agency (GITA), which he called his 'most satisfying professional experience.'

Kelly said he will most miss his staff. 'We started this agency together and worked together to determine priorities, establish processes and earn credibility,' he said.

GITA's projects saved Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars and let agencies reinvest savings into customer improvements, he added.

The state has two or three candidates under serious consideration to be the new CIO.

ARKANSAS

COMINGS AND GOINGS. Michael Hipp, director of the Information Systems Department (ISD), recently resigned to work for a new boss'himself.

Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed Don Melton as acting director of ISD during the search for a permanent agency head. Melton has worked for Huckabee since 1996. During the 1997 legislative session, Melton worked on a program to streamline the Motor Vehicle Department's registration renewal process.

CALIFORNIA

PACKED PORTAL. San Diego County's Web site packs 22 county services onto one page. The site, at www.co.san-diego.ca.us/cnty/online, labels each service with an icon. For example, a photo of handcuffs identifies the sheriff's Booking Log site. Running off SGI Origin servers, the site uses Sybase Web SQL middleware and supports 15,000 Web pages. The site receives about 3.6 million server hits per month.

COLORADO

MAKING A MNT. US West Inc. of Englewood recently won a 10-year, $37 million contract to link state offices and schools in all of Colorado's 64 counties to a high-speed network.

The Multi-Use Network (MNT) will run on a fiber-optic backbone to bring Internet access, distance learning, telemedicine and electronic commerce to rural areas. Gov. Bill Owens said MNT will 'help Colorado bridge the digital divide between rural and urban communities.'

CONNECTICUT

ORDER UP. The state's Procurement Services division is piloting a buying service, at www.StateGovCenter.com, from Digital Commerce Corp. of Reston, Va.

About 43 agencies, towns and school systems are tapping the system to buy items from statewide contracts. The division ultimately expects 300 agency users, procurement manager Jim Passier said.

Digital Commerce works with state vendors to digitize catalogs on the service, which automatically routes approvals but requires paper billing.

DELAWARE

DIGITAL INFLUENCE. The state is revamping the Office of Highway Safety's Driving Under the Influence Tracking System to make it more useful to the eight treatment providers and 40 courts that use it.

The existing C++ application holds treatment program and recidivism data in a Microsoft Access database and does not talk to the Department of Motor Vehicles Adabas database that receives data from the police, DMV data processing administrator Cheryl Roe said.

The new Visual Basic app will hold data in a Microsoft SQL Server 7.3 database, cut duplicative data entry, access arrest and court data from the DMV and allow more concurrent users than the current 75.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

LINKING UP. Mayor Anthony Williams' fiscal 2001 budget calls for a $62 million increase in operating funds for District schools, including a $4 million investment to connect every library, lab and classroom to the Internet.

Williams is also encouraging high-tech firms to help in any way they can. On the low-tech side, Williams called for $1 million for a Homework Hotline that parents could call to find out about their children's schoolwork.

FLORIDA

WEB ARM OF THE LAW. The Revenue Department has opened up its Tax Law Library to citizens online, at taxlaw.state.fl.us/taxlawmenu.asp.

The site uses Active Server Pages and the askSam database and search tool from askSam Systems of Perry to present documents originally stored in Corel WordPerfect.

The site includes tax-related statutes, rules, declaratory statements and technical letters, as well as Attorney General opinions.

GEORGIA

PULLING TOGETHER. Gov. Roy Barnes has approved the formation of the Georgia Technology Authority, which will oversee planning, procurement and management of IT and telecommunications for the state government.

The authority will consolidate the operations of three state technology organizations, as well as those of agency IT shops.

The action comes in the wake of a study by KPMG Peat Marwick of New York indicating that Georgia spends more on computers, software and other systems than other large states and corporations.

HAWAII

HOME WEB. The Education Department recently embarked on a program to connect every classroom, as well as the home of every student and teacher in the state to community educational networks via television.

Working with ViAlta.com, a subsidiary of ESS Technology Inc. of Fremont, Calif., and the Ohana foundation, a nonprofit educational access organization in Honolulu, the department will link each student at school and at home to the Internet and provide educational programs on DVD. ViAlta.com makes what it calls Internet appliances, which provide Internet access, and DVD audio and video over a TV set.

IDAHO

ACCESS SUCCESS. Access Idaho, the state's new electronic government portal, opened last month at www.accessidaho.org. Visitors who type the old state Web site address, www.state.id.us, will automatically be linked to Access Idaho.

The Administration Department's Purchasing Division last year awarded a contract to the National Information Consortium Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., to create the electronic government site
[GCN/State & Local, December 1999, Page 6].

ILLINOIS

TODDLIN' TECH. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has unveiled an Action Plan for Technology in Education that calls for city schools, colleges and agencies to cooperate with industry and the Catholic educational system to get students and teachers up to speed technically.

The five-year, $1.1 billion plan calls for rewiring schools, consolidating computer recycling programs, forming partnerships between schools and technology companies, and more than 100 other technology education efforts.

INDIANA

PULLING 'EM IN. The state Tourism Division recently unveiled the EnjoyIndiana.com Web site to help folks plan an Indiana vacation.

During its first month, the site offered visitors more than $10,000 in prizes that included T-shirts, canoe use, Indianapolis 500 tickets and travel packages.

The colorful site provides information about Indiana attractions and businesses. Visitors can make lodging reservations, plan trips and print maps.


For about $20, the Kansas State Historical Society put up a Web site that ties in with an exhibit on the state's 'wheat people.' Society employees used freeware and clip art to create the interactive site.


IOWA

TAXING WORK. Tax administration officials in the Revenue and Finance Department have proposed a master plan for the state tax agency's home page.

The plan lays out a strategy under which the agency would use the Web for registering taxpayers, receiving and processing returns and remittances, collecting tax payments, maintaining statewide accounting system claims, assuring compliance with tax laws and aiding statistical analysis.

The department's existing Web site, at www.state.ia.us/government/drf, already lets taxpayers download forms, research tax law, check tax rates and get news about tax administration changes.

Tax officials plan to build the new functions into the site using Microsoft FrontPage 98 and host the site on a Sun Microsystems Ultrasparc server with 256M of RAM running SunSoft Solaris and a Compaq ProLiant 5500 server with 526M of RAM running Microsoft Windows NT.

KANSAS

WHEAT PEOPLE. The Kansas State Historical Society has a Web site, at www.kshs.org, but no webmaster. 'Everybody pitches in and does some of the Web work,' said Rebecca Martin, assistant director of the Kansas Museum of History.

To tie in with the exhibit 'Wheat People: Celebrating Kansas Harvest,' Martin posted a game on the site.

Visitors play the role of wheat farmer and choose different scenarios for growing wheat. Martin used Arachnofilia, text editor freeware from Arachnoid of Ashland, Ore.; GIF Construction software from Alchemy Mindworks Inc. of Beeton, Ontario, to animate the graphics; and Microsoft Paint to design the graphics. 'It was a low-cost to no-cost effort,' Martin said.

KENTUCKY

NO PRESSURE. The Education Department has invited citizens to its 'Take the Test' Web site to sample the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System exams that public school students in six grades take each spring.

The site is intended to help citizens understand the standards expected of Kentucky students, the test scoring method and the academic performance of Kentucky's kids.

Visit the site, at www.kde.state.ky.us/comm/commrel/taketest.

LOUISIANA

DRIVERS WANTED. The Public Safety Department's Motor Vehicles and Drivers License Division has released a request for proposals for operating the state's digitized driver's license system.

NBS Imaging Systems Inc. of Fort Wayne, Ind., which was recently bought by Polaroid Corp. of Cambridge, Mass., designed and built the state's digitized system in 1994.
satellite, Carter said.MAINE

KA-CHING. The Bureau of Accounts and Control has hired Ikon Office Solutions of Malvern, Pa., to build a document management system for all state financial records.

The system will replace a microfilming archive system. It will scan, index and digitize documents, complete with bar codes. Agency employees will access the images through the statewide intranet.

The system will save the bureau $100,000 annually in operating costs and will reduce per-page scanning costs from 11 cents to 5 cents, deputy state controller Joseph Shaw said.

MARYLAND

ALTERNA-OFFICE. Charles County Community College's Southern Maryland Telecommuting Centers has established telecommuting centers for the cities of Waldorf, Laurel and Prince Frederick. The federally funded program began for federal employees but has since expanded to include other workers.

Center PCs run the Microsoft Office and Corel WordPerfect Office suites under Windows NT. Users typically connect to their home office networks through dial-up connections, and some establish Web e-mail accounts.

MASSACHUSETTS

DATA WAVES. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has signed a three-year licensing agreement with Metricom Inc. of Los Gatos, Calif., for a wireless telecommunications network in the city.

The network will run Metricom's Ricochet technology to wirelessly connect city organizations and citizens to the Internet through shoebox-sized devices that will hang from 500 city streetlights.

The city expects the network to be up by summer's end.

MICHIGAN

WIRED WOLVERINES. Gov. John Engler has established an e-Michigan Office within the Executive Office of the Governor. Office director Stephanie Comai will coordinate electronic-government programs and speed re-engineering of state government procedures.

Engler also has established an e-Michigan Advisory Council to advise Comai on how to develop an e-government strategy.

MINNESOTA

SNOW JOB. The Transportation Department has asked for $875,000 from the Federal Highway Administration for a project to equip snowplows and other highway service vehicles with mobile computers. The federal money would be combined with $875,000 in state and other funds in a $1.75 million budget to equip up to 2,000 vehicles with rugged computers.

DOT officials for the last three years have tested rugged computers with Global Positioning System capability and two-way radio communications for use on snowplows.

The systems would let dispatchers across the state pinpoint the location of trucks and other equipment, send the trucks where they are most needed and maintain communications with drivers stranded in perilous weather.

MISSISSIPPI

DIXIE CHIPS. The Louisville School District in rural Winston County has wired two schools under a $99,000 federal Technology Literacy Fund Challenge Grant.

Technicians equipped Fair and Louisville elementary schools with a shared T1 connection to the Internet and buried fiber-optic cable linking the schools under the street between them.

Superintendent John Garner managed the project to install 35 450-MHz Gateway Inc. Pentium III PCs in the two schools. Each classroom in the schools is equipped with two drop lines of Category 5 LAN cable linked to a central server at each school.

MISSOURI

SHOW-ME SYSTEM. The Office of Information Technology has completed about two-thirds of a $30 million project to convert state administrative systems to the Statewide Advantage for Missouri (SAM II) system.

Contractor American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., is doing the upgrade and already has installed SAM II in the state's budgeting, purchasing and financial agencies.

The system will replace a 25-year-old accounting system known as Statewide Accounting for Missouri. The new system will run under IBM OS/390 on three IBM mainframes'a 9672 Y76, a 9672 R66 and a 9672 R65 with DB2 databases'in the State Data Center.

MONTANA

TAINTED LOVE. Hit hard by last month's ILOVEYOU e-mail virus, Montana wasted no time in warning users about the so-called Love Bug. By 6 p.m. May 4, the day the virus first appeared, state webmaster Ron Armstrong had posted two pages titled 'Love Bug Virus Fix' on the main Web site, at www.state.mt.us. Montana officials shut down the state's e-mail system May 4 and brought back only internal e-mail May 5.


Nebraskans get to choose the design for the state's 2002 license plates. Check out the three finalists'selected from a field of 750 entries ' at www.nol.org/home/DMV/vote.


NEBRASKA

PICK-A-PLATE. Motor Vehicle Department officials received 750 entries for the 2002 license plate design. The DMV posted the three top designs on its Web site, at www.nol.org/home/DMV/vote.

The first three weeks after the site went up on April 17, Web site visitors cast 48,660 votes. Another 30,129 votes were mailed. Will it be the geese flying over a dusky Nebraska sunset? A shadowy silhouette of the capitol building in Lincoln? Or a straightforward representation of the building outlined by a map of the state? DMV officials are keeping the vote standings under wraps.

NEVADA

IN THE BEGINNING. Project Genesis, the Motor Vehicles and Public Safety Department's project to redesign the state's motor vehicles services, has begun offering driver's license and registration renewals over the Internet.

The department has been mailing individual access codes to about 1,000 registered drivers a day for three weeks, said Ginny Lewis, deputy director of the DMV. Visitors to the site, at dmvapp.state.nv.us/dl_renewal.asp, enter their driver's license numbers and access codes to renew their licenses and registrations.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

BOOTLEG BOOT. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen recently signed an executive order requiring state agencies and organizations they do business with to use only licensed software. The agencies must also establish software management programs.

California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington enforce the same requirements, according to the Business Software Alliance. The Georgia General Assembly passed similar legislation that is awaiting Gov. Roy Barnes' signature, the alliance said.

NEW JERSEY

SECURE STEPS. The state has begun implementing a public-key infrastructure to boost the security of state agency communications, using products and services from VeriSign, Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.

The PKI will support digital signatures and user authentication tactics for Internet communications. It will follow New Jersey's Enterprise Certification Authority model, developed by a working group of state agency representatives and chief information officer Wendy Rayner.

NEW MEXICO

DEEP DISCOUNTS. The General Services Department's Purchasing Division recently concluded a volume-discount computer contract on behalf of the 15 states that comprise the Western State Contracting Alliance. The agreement lets the states buy computer equipment at deep discounts from Compaq Computer Corp., CompUSA Inc. of Dallas, Dell Computer Corp., Gateway Inc., and IBM Corp. New Mexico alone expects to save a million dollars annually on computer equipment.

NEW YORK

TECH JACKPOT. The Assembly has passed a bill to fund library technology by selling advertising space on lottery tickets.

Assembly Majority Leader Michael J. Bragman sponsored the bill. It was passed in March to the Senate, which referred it to the Racing, Gaming and Wagering committee. The bill passed in the Assembly last year, as well, but died in the Senate Rules Committee.

NORTH CAROLINA

ONE FOR ALL. The state has launched a Web site for government services that has four main portals: Citizen Central, Business Central, Employee Central and Local Government Central.

The site, called 'North Carolina @ Your Service,' is at www.ncgov.com. The state is searching for a vendor to handle credit card transactions so that citizens will be able to renew vehicle registrations and pay permit fees over the Web.

NORTH DAKOTA

PRAIRIE SCHOONER. Navigating North Dakota's Web portal, at www.state.nd.us, will become easier because the state's Information Technology Department plans to completely redesign the site.

ITD programmers will design the new site using Dreamweaver 3 from Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco and Microsoft FrontPage 98. The site will reside on servers running Microsoft Windows NT and SunSoft Solaris.

OHIO

WORKING TITLE. American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., has built a $16.2 million motor vehicle title processing system for the Ohio Public Safety Department.

More than 1,100 employees of Ohio's 88 county courts access the system to issue titles to state residents. The state processes and tracks 6 million vehicle titles annually.

System data at the county level resides in Oracle8 databases running under Windows NT 4.0. The central Oracle8 database runs under SCO Unix from Santa Cruz Operations Inc. of Santa Cruz, Calif.

OKLAHOMA

GAME PLAN. Education Department officials, Gov. Frank Keating and first lady Cathy Keating have unveiled an interactive computer game called 'Central High,' designed to teach ethics and encourage positive character development in young people.

Destiny Interactive Inc. of Tulsa produced the CD-ROM and will distribute six free copies to each middle school and high school in the state.

Students guide the main character, Kevin, through 36 scenes where he has to make decisions about cheating, drug use, group conflicts and other challenges. The software runs under Apple Mac OS and Windows 95 and 98.

OREGON

GOING, GOING, GONE. EBay, the popular online auction site, isn't just for private citizens who want to bid on Godzilla Pez dispensers. Officials in Oregon's Administrative Services Department have been using the site for more than a year to sell surplus and seized property, said Skip Morton, the department's property distribution center manager.

Department officials have been selling the goods on eBay for at least twice as much as what they would have gotten if they had used the traditional auction method, Morton said.

Using the online alias 'oregontrail2000,' the state has sold seized jewelry, tennis shoes and vehicles.

PENNSYLVANIA

POLICE TACTICS. The State Police Department recently selected Lockheed Martin Corp. as systems integrator for the Criminal Investigative/Traffic Incident Information Management System, which has been under state development for several years.

The system will consolidate 911 call receipt and dispatch, and give troopers mobile computing units for database access and on-scene data entry. It will integrate several electronic and manual information systems.

RHODE ISLAND

LITTER LETTER. The city of Cranston's Public Works Department recently relied on its geographic information system to map out new refuse collection routes under a new contract with its pickup vendor.

The department pulled tax assessor data into ArcView from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., to map the residences it serves, GIS project manager Maria Giarrusso said.

It overlaid a map of routes for each day of the week and then selected new routes. The system identified which residences had a change in pickup day, then the city used the data to create mailing labels for a notification letter.

SOUTH CAROLINA

JUSTICE FOR ALL. The state Judicial Branch plans to develop an extensive system that will handle case management, electronic case filing, document management, personnel functions and judge scheduling.

The system will exchange data with other state and local networks, as well as federal systems.

SOUTH DAKOTA

DRIVING INSTRUCTION. Motorists using Interstate 90 in the areas of exits 57 and 58, and nearby Haines Avenue in Rapid City now have a Web site to help them cope with congestion caused by a two-year road reconstruction project.

The Transportation Department has created a site, at www.rcexits.com, to explain the reasons for the road reconstruction, advise drivers on traffic flow, present information on contracts and tell job seekers how to contact the contractors.

The site resides on a Compaq ProLiant 3000 server, which also hosts all the other South Dakota government Web sites. Kristi Sandal, the department's webmaster, created the site using Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft FrontPage 98, Cold Fusion 4.0 from Allaire Corp. of Cambridge, Mass., and Paint Shop Pro 6 from Jasc Software Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn.

TENNESSEE

WATER WORKS. The Nashville Metropolitan Government and Davidson County Metro Water Services are converting data from 2,000 maps to a geographic information system. The GIS will hold information about 5,000 miles of water and sewer mains in the Nashville system.

Michael Baker Corp. of Pittsburgh has received a $500,000, 12-month contract to do the data conversion. After interim processing in an ArcInfo 8 database from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., Michael Baker will integrate the data into a common GIS framework and a database the Nashville Metro Planning Commission maintains.

The water and sewer agencies will manage the data using ESRI's Spatial Database Engine, which will run under Unix on a Compaq Alpha server.

TEXAS

IN THE CARDS. The Human Services Department recently awarded a five-year contract valued at $19 million to Logicon Inc., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp. The Herndon, Va., company will support the state's electronic benefits transfer system.

Texas' EBT system is the largest in the United States, delivering Food Stamp and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits to about 1.4 million residents. Recipients are issued a magnetic stripe debit card and a personal identification number.

Point-of-sale devices in about 13,000 stores can read the information on the debit cards.

UTAH

OFF TRACK. A Utah prison inmate who was under investigation for a computer security breach was found dead in his cell on April 13, an apparent suicide.

Forty-three-year-old Michael Patrick Moore had recently reprogrammed a database that the Correctional Industries Division uses, said Corrections Department representative Jack Ford.

In his work for the Corrections Industries, Moore had renamed one of the files OTRACK. OTRACK is the name of Utah's secure offender tracking system. Corrections officials at first thought Moore had gotten unauthorized access to the secure system, but they later learned that he had not.

Moore had been working on a standalone Celeron PC. He also had obtained software from outside the prison, which is a violation of prison rules, Ford said.

VERMONT

HELPING SENIORS. The state Division of Advocacy and Independent Living is adopting the Omnia assessment application from Synergy Software Technologies Inc. of Essex Junction, which is an add-on to the company's Senior Accounting Management System (SAMS).

The tool will let the division determine what assistance seniors are eligible for and track data not only from Vermont but also across the 13 other states now using SAMS, director Joan Senecal said.

VIRGINIA

ROAMING LAB. The Mobile Learning Unit, a state-of-the-art mobile classroom, provides information technology and IT job training to public school students and teachers who don't otherwise have access to high-tech equipment.

The MLU is a partnership of the state Office of the Technology Secretary,
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and the Manufacturing Technology Center of Southwestern Virginia.

WASHINGTON

LIST BLISS. The Information Services Department has launched a free e-mail service that provides the latest state government news.

Users can visit listserv.wa.gov/archives/uselist.html to join a list of e-mail subscribers, or click the black button marked 'E-mail Lists' at access.wa.gov.

Recipients do not need special software or plug-ins. Anyone with Internet access and an e-mail address can join a list.

Any Washington state or local government agency can offer a list on the service. Topics include the Labor and Industries Department, the Ecology Department, Hydrogeology, digital government, and the Puget Lowlands pesticide bioeffects group.

WEST VIRGINIA

TECH TRAINING. State higher educational institutions will be able to use Web training products and services from WebCT Inc. of Peabody, Mass., and SmartForce of Redwood City, Calif., formerly CBT Group PLC.

The West Virginia Network, the state's higher education computer authority, licensed WebCT software to let nontechnical users create sophisticated Web training programs. WVNET contracted with SmartForce for 400 technical training courses, which can be delivered through WebCT.

WISCONSIN

PICNIC BUGS. The contractor that runs the online park reservation system for the Natural Resources Department has eliminated most of the system's early glitches, state officials said.

ReserveAmerica Inc. of Ballston Spa, N.Y., has added additional staff and equipment to resolve congestion problems that arose when Wisconsin's Web system went live last May.

ReserveAmerica processed 8,324 park reservations through the Web site in January and February, out of 17,605 total reservations in those months, spokesman John Colliston said.

That's a 47 percent rate of Internet use, compared to a 14.8 percent rate between May and December of last year. The company also runs a call center in Madison to take site reservations. Vacationers pay a $9.50 reservation fee for the service.

WYOMING

WIRED, WIRED WEST. All of Wyoming's public elementary, middle and high schools, community colleges and their administrative offices now link to the Wyoming Equality Network, said Linda Carter, director of data technology for Wyoming's Education Department.

WEN is a frame relay network with an asynchronous transfer mode backbone the state leases from US West Inc. of Englewood, Colo. Even Willow Creek Elementary in central Wyoming, with a student population of one, connects to WEN via satellite, Carter said.

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