The unprecedented events of 2020 caused increased public records requests for COVID-19 data and information about crisis planning and processes. The types of requests are becoming more complex for health departments, law enforcement, and public safety agencies. Additionally, the rush to remote work during the pandemic led to inaccessible, non-digitized records, increasing the time to release.

While the first two days of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference were all about learning from the pandemic experience, the final day’s discussions on May 27 focused on the future.

Representatives on the House Homeland Security Committee reintroduced legislation May 12 that would create a $500 million-per-year Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant program to help incentivize state and local governments (SLGs) to improve cybersecurity funding.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told members of Congress last week that between $600 and $700 million of Federal funding approved under the American Rescue Plan Act will be used to pay for technical assistance to states to improve their unemployment insurance (UI) systems.

The state of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is modernizing the IT infrastructure of its unemployment insurance (UI) system in concert with the U.S. Digital Response (USDR) and the General Service Administration’s (GSA) 18F.

Federal lawmakers in both the House and Senate have included an additional $2 billion for the Department of Labor (DoL) to distribute to help states upgrade unemployment insurance (UI) infrastructure. The funding was included in both the version of the American Rescue Act that passed the House on Feb. 27 and a draft of the Senate companion bill MeriTalk has obtained.

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