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From the entire NASCIO team, our best wishes for this holiday season!  We had a great 2014 and we look forward to serving the NASCIO Community in the new year.  

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Happy Holidays from the NASCIO team to you and yours! We hope you were able to check out our blog posting earlier this week on the cybersecurity actions taken by Congress before departing. Even so, Washington has a bundle of other news that is of interest to states. Here’s a quick overview of everything going on to last you through the New Year:

Key Takeaway: FCC Takes Action on Broadband, Seeks Input on E911
As expected, the FCC took action to expand funding for E-rate connections at its December 11 meeting, increasing the spending cap from the current $2.4 to $3.9 billion a year. However, perhaps most notable for states, is the order incentivizing state support of “last-mile broadband facilities through a match from E-rate of up to 10 percent of the cost of construction.” The order also allows:

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Later this week, I will post a broader overview of what has been going on in Washington around tech, but Congress has been working over the last week... in almost every sense of the word.  Improving our cybersecurity laws is a big beneficiary of that work. Here’s some of cybersecurity legislation making it to the President’s desk before Christmas, and what ended up as a lump of coal:

NICE:

S. 1353 - Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014:
This bipartisan legislation from Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Thune (R-SD) codifies much of the work underway at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in creating voluntary consensus standards, as well as promoting education and awareness campaigns.  It also directs more efforts towards cybersecurity research and development, as well as workforce development activities through the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Department of Commerce, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Homeland Security. 

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Quack Quack.  Here's your lame duck Congress Weekly WHAT.  You'd be surprised how much is going on...

Key Takeaway: Is Cyber Legislation Possible in the Lame Duck Congress?

A procedural yesterday vote in the Senate doomed a chance at NSA reform before the new year, and with it the most likely vehicle to pass a number of cybersecurity bills that are important to state and local governments. It is now more likely the new Congress will need to start from scratch on information sharing and building the legislative framework for national cybersecurity policy. 

A bundle of non-controversial cybersecurity bills that cement into law and bolster ongoing federal activities now have an even narrower path to becoming law—and time stacked against them. These include: reforming FISMA (which also has a significant impact on state and local governments), supporting the cybersecurity framework and other ongoing DHS activities, and promoting cyber workforce development. These bills could conceivably be attached to ‘must pass’ legislation such as the Defense authorization bill, or even a continuing resolution to fund government, but surveillance reform, which would have been bundled with cyber information sharing legislation and perhaps these other legislative initiatives, was the most likely candidate.

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It’s a pre-election dose of the Weekly WHAT. I’ll save the political implications and prognostications for others--just don't forget to vote! Here’s what you need to know when it comes to federal policies impacting state tech.

Key Takeaway: NASCIO Responds to FirstNet RFI, Public Notice
When the FirstNet Board of Directors met on September 17, they announced the release of two documents seeking public input into how to move forward with the FirstNet public safety broadband network: a) a Request for Information (RFI) on how the authority should build the network; and, b) a Public Notice discussing the statutory interpretation of FirstNet and its mission.  NASCIO responded to both documents on October 27. 

According to

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The Weekly WHAT has been on hiatus during political silly season, but that does not mean there’s not action in the world of federal and state cybersecurity--or other tech issues. Here’s what you have been missing:

Key Takeaway:
NASCIO Files Comments on the NIST Framework
On October 10, NASCIO filed comments with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding states' experiences with the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. The comments were in response to a request for information (RFI) in which NIST asked about the use of its framework and companion Roadmap. NIST hopes to use this data as it prepares to update the framework over time.

NASCIO utilized its findings in the 2014 Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study, State governments at risk: Time to move forward to provide a picture of how the framework is being utilized in the states. Our results showed that 47 percent of CISOs plan to leverage the framework within the next six months to a year, and an additional 38.8 percent responded that they are currently reviewing the framework. Only two percent of state CISOs responded that they had no plan to leverage the NIST cybersecurity framework. NASCIO also focused on the fact that "NASCIO has not seen any evidence of an effort by federal regulatory agencies to utilize the framework to harmonize these regulations or provide other consistency across the patchwork of cybersecurity regulations that federal activities impose upon state governments."  

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The start of NASCIO's 2014 Annual Conference at the Omni Hotel in Nashville is only three days away.  The Programs Committee has crafted another informative program with thought-provoking keynotes and plenty of time for networking.  We're looking forward to another great event in an exciting city.  

The 2014 State CIO Survey report and Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study will be released during the conference.  On Wednesday, October 1, we're the host for the National Cyber Security Awareness Month launch event. Look forward to seeing many of you in Nashville. The NASCIO HQ team is ready to rock!
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It’s the pre-NASCIO conference, pre-National Cyber Security Awareness Month, intro to the best season (Fall), pre-season NHL, Congressional campaign district work period edition of the Weekly WHAT!  I look forward to talking with many of you about these and other issues next week in Nashville.

Here’s what’s on tap:

Key Takeaway: NASCIO Files E-rate Comments
On September 19, NASCIO submitted comments to the FCC regarding next steps in the E-rate program, which provides high speed broadband connection subsidies for schools and libraries.  NASCIO’s comments on the FCC’s July 11 Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking stressed the need for state flexibility.  NASCIO’s comments focused on a number of issues, including the best opportunities for the FCC to provide incentives that promote regional applications known as “consortium,” and ways to harness master contracts and bulk purchasing.  To read NASCIO’s comments in their entirety,

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Hope everyone enjoyed August! With Congress is back in town, the Weekly WHAT is back from hiatus. Several agencies were active, so below you’ll find some key federal issues to welcome us back ...


Key Takeaway: NIST Gathering Data On Cyber Framework In Effort To Build Version 2.0

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Earlier in August we added Amy to the NASCIO team as a Senior Policy Analyst.  She comes to us with eight years of policy experience in Washington, D.C., including four years as a senior government relations representative with the American Public Power Association where she worked on a number of energy and tax issues with local governments. She also spent four years as a legislative aide for former U.S. Congressman Ben Chandler (KY). 

Amy just returned to her home state of Kentucky after two years teaching English in Indonesia with the Peace Corps. We're pleased to have her experience and perspective at the association to serve our members. Welcome Amy!
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Congress has officially left town for the August recess, and will not be back until after Labor Day. At that point there will be little just a handful of days in session before the elections take place. In honor of their vacation, the Washington Headlines And Technology column will focus on where they are on key issues for IT in the states:

Key Takeaway: Congress Keeps Moving Forward on Cybersecurity
With the House, Senate, and White House seeming to slowly move towards common ground surrounding information sharing legislation and potential reforms to NSA Surveillance, the time looks ripe for a large deal on cybersecurity. In response, there has been a flurry of activity around the topic in both chambers.

On the heels of several key stand-alone authorization bills receiving committee approval in the Senate

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Each year the new chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) announces an initiative to focus on a key policy area, outline recommendations and urge governors to take action.  Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is the new chair of the NGA for 2014-15.  At the recent annual meeting in Nashville, Gov. Hickenlooper unveiled his 2014-2015 chair’s initiative, Delivering Results, which aims to make state government work in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible through innovative management and hiring practices, new and emerging technologies, governmental process improvement and appropriate regulation.

This is the statement from the July 13th NGA press release:

"Across the country, governors are taking advantage of innovations in policy, management, technology, analysis and personnel practices that businesses, universities and others already have applied. Those strategies include recruiting and retaining the best and brightest employees, making government leaner through the use of modern management practices and new technologies and using data to agilely improve programs and policies to determine which deliver results."

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Key TakeawayThe Outlook For Congress
It’s almost August, which means we’re coming to the end of the Congressional session. As of today, there are only two weeks left until Congressional representatives flee the Capitol for their summer recess district work period.  After that, 10 days of session are planned in September, 2 in October, and that’s it until the end of the 2014 fiscal year. 

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The World Cup ended yesterday (props to Germany, although I was rooting for Messi and Argentina), but did you know that tomorrow is the LAST day you can submit a comment on the FCC’s net neutrality plan? As of Friday, the FCC had received more than 647,000 comments.  If you'd like to join the crowd, the FCC established an inbox for comments at openinternet@fcc.gov after a rush of commenters may have led to a crash of their website last month. (Editorial note: you will still be able to post reply comments on net neutrality for another 2 months, so plenty of time to respond to other's thoughts!). On to the news...

Key Takeaway: U.S. Senate Focuses on Cyber
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Today we welcome Jessica Mueller to the NASCIO team as our new research coordinator. In addition to providing research support on IT policy issues and inquires, Jessica's major responsibilities include handling special research projects, maintaining our mobile apps catalog and managing the NASCIO Community. She'll also support our social media presence and help to coordinate logistics for the D.C. Fly-In. 

Jessica has a background in marketing research, managing online communities, social media engagement strategies and ​a year of
international work experience in Oman. She's a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Jessica has a long list of academic and athletic awards, however we promise not to hold that against her! 

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Welcome to the World Cup “I Believe” edition of the Weekly WHAT, where we're still reeling from that Portugal goal but looking forward to tomorrow’s game. GO USA!

Key Takeaway:
Bipartisan Reform of Workforce Program Will Have Tech Implications
The Senate is poised to pass H.R.803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which has an excellent chance of being signed into law. The bipartisan, bicameral bill is an update to the Workforce Investment Act with an objective of streamlining and focusing job training programs to create “a system that prepares workers for the 21st century workforce, while helping businesses find the skilled employees they need to compete and create jobs in America.”  So why are we talking about in the NASCIO weekly WHAT? 

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Here’s to all the Fathers out there.  I hope you all had the fantastic day/weekend you deserved with your loved ones! On to the headlines tailored for that #1 public sector tech dad (or mom, or single person)...

Key TakeawayNASCIO Releases FirstNet Survey Report
In case you missed it, NASCIO released its report on state progress in the planning of the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network.  The report, the first to provide a comprehensive overview of state progress, shows a multitude of approaches being taken by state governments, along with significant progress when it comes to governance and outreach.  You can find the report here.  There’s a wide range of media coverage that you can check out, as well: here

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My alternate titles for this post were "There must be Something in the Water" or "What's Wrong with Doug?however I regret to report we have another staff transition on the NASCIO team.  Samantha Wenger, our Research Coordinator has accepted a great opportunity with a national firm and is leaving NASCIO.  She can now put her MBA to work!

With her research responsibilities, Sam contributed to the success of our association in several ways, but most prominently in her roles as managing the NASCIO Community, the project lead for the Mobile Apps catalog and handling logistics for the annual DC Fly-In. The improved NASCIO Community platform is a direct result of Sam’s hard work and persistence.  

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Key Takeaway:

House Slashes Online ID Program and Pilot Funding

Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed a spending bill including less funding and language intended to wind down the administration’s efforts to replace the online username/password with a more secure proof of identity.  The House Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill would only provide $5.9 million of the requested $16.5 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) program known as the

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Here's our latest Weekly Washington Headlines And Tech Blog info to help you wind down your work-week! Key Takeaway:

Administration Report Concludes No Additional Cybersecurity Regs Needed A report by the Obama administration concluded no further development of cybersecurity regulations are necessary at this time. Under the Executive Order Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (

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