Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.
May 31, 2013

Fusion Centers Struggle with Surveillance Post-9/11

Fusion centers were created in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks to improve information gathering and intelligence surveillance among law enforcement agencies. But their effectiveness and legality has been questioned ever since.
May 17, 2013

N.J. May Pay Recent Grads to Live in Poor Cities

Lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed paying part of college graduates' student loans if they agree to live in cities in need of revitalization.
April 26, 2013

Ohio to Join 2 Other States with Arsonist Registry

Looking to reduce the economic and human cost of arson, the state is creating an arsonist registry to make catching repeat offenders easier.
April 12, 2013

First State to Pay Lawyers to Practice in the Country

To help rural America's drought of lawyers, South Dakota has passed the nation's first law to pay them to live and work in rural areas.
April 3, 2013

New Revenue Booster: Selling Your City's Expertise?

The Canadian city of Edmonton has created a for-profit agency to sell its expertise in waste management to other cities around the world.
March 21, 2013

Libraries Start Lending Unusual Items

Seeking to adapt to the changing demands of the digital age, some public libraries are beginning to loan out more than just books and movies.
March 14, 2013

NYC is 1st to Use Volunteer Techies to Improve Disaster Response

New York City has created the country's first municipal program that uses volunteer tech experts, including Facebook employees, to improve its emergency response.
March 6, 2013

Fingerprinting Helps Homeless Shelters Provide Faster Service

New Jersey is expanding a local program that helps human services agencies get a more accurate picture of where and when aid is most needed.
February 15, 2013

Using GPS to Track Drug Thefts

The NYPD will soon begin using 'bait bottles' of fake pain-killers equipped with invisible GPS devices to combat a rise in pharmacy robberies.
January 17, 2013

Public Fitness Parks Aid Income-Health Inequality

A nonprofit is helping cities across the country fund free outdoor gyms in public parks to help combat the nation's obesity epidemic.
December 13, 2012

Cities Pushing to Record Conversations on Public Buses

Despite privacy concerns, a growing number of public transit agencies are adding audio surveillance to buses.
December 4, 2012

D.C. Uses Facebook to Grade Government Agencies

Customer feedback on social media has become invaluable to private businesses in recent years. Now, cities like Washington, D.C., are turning to it to grade their agencies.
November 27, 2012

New Female State Legislators Learn from Their Elders

A nonpartisan nonprofit helps newly elected female legislators learn how to serve their constituents better by pairing them with veteran lawmakers.
November 15, 2012

City- and County-Centered Wikis

Built on the same concept as a typical Wikipedia page, city and county-centered wikis are popping up around the country.
November 7, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Prevails in Four States

Voters in three states approved marriage for same-sex couples for the first time in history. In a fourth state, a measure to ban gay marriage was defeated.
November 1, 2012

New Election Monitoring Platform Empowers Voters

MyFairElection aims to make voters more active in monitoring their polling places to improve the fairness and quality of the electoral process.
October 25, 2012

Pennsylvania Launches Unique Career Website

A new statewide website unveiled this month is designed to help residents identify career paths, get training and find local jobs.
October 22, 2012

Recycling Paint in California

A new law requires paint manufacturers to put a system in place to make recycling leftover paint easier for residential and commercial customers.
October 18, 2012

Kansas City Streamlines Fire Hydrant Inspection

By using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software the city has overhauled a time-consuming process to save time and money while making the city safer.
October 15, 2012

Using Radar to Detect Wrong-Way Drivers

Milwaukee County hopes that radar detection coupled with new signage will stop wrong-way drivers in their tracks.
October 9, 2012

Seattle Police Use Neighborhood Twitter Accounts

The police department has created 51 hyper-local accounts to keep residents informed about crime and police response.
October 1, 2012

New Mexico Creates App to Reduce DUIs

The state has unveiled a new smartphone application, ENDWI, that has a suite of features to promote responsible drinking.
September 24, 2012

Measuring Air Quality in U.S. Cities

A nonprofit is working to create a real-time map of air quality in U.S. cities that will be available to the public.
September 20, 2012

North Carolina Encourages Youth Vote with Pre-Registration Drives

By allowing teens as young as 16 to register and having mandatory voting drives in school the state is ahead of its peers.
September 17, 2012

Michigan Rewards Colleges for Keeping Tuition Affordable

Public universities that keep tuition rates down are being rewarded with extra state aid.
September 13, 2012

Miami Taps into Organic, Local Food Movement to End Homelessness

A community just outside the city offers homeless people a paycheck and place to live in exchange for work on a sustainable urban farm.
September 10, 2012

Building Profiling for First Responders

Camden, N.J., is piloting a new program that maps out abandoned buildings for hazards to increase safety for first responders and nearby businesses.
September 6, 2012

D.C. Police Fight Crime with Design

District of Columbia police aim to work with developers to design safe environments that prevent crime.
August 30, 2012

Portland Loo Solves the Problem of Public Toilets

The city built a solar-powered, not-so-private restroom that deters illegal activity.
August 28, 2012

Wi-Fi Turns School Buses into Study Halls

The Huntsville, Ala., school district is testing out the idea on 20 school buses where students spend nearly two hours a day.
August 24, 2012

New Census App Keeps Users Up-to-date on Economy

The new app pools data from three government organizations and showcases real-time statistics for the U.S. economy.
August 23, 2012

New York City Tests Social Impact Bonds

The city will be the first in the nation to test the experimental financing model for social programs.
August 20, 2012

New Anti-Bullying Program Shows Promise in New Hampshire

Nine-week program that teaches good morals, ethics and behaviors has resulted in increased reporting of incidents.
August 16, 2012

1st Interstate Water Quality Trading Program to Begin

Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky will allow businesses to buy water quality credits from farmers across state lines to help them meet environmental standards.
August 14, 2012

Knoxville Tests New Options for Mentally Ill Persons

A new state law allows for court-ordered outpatient therapy for people with severe mental illness and it will be tested at a facility in Knoxville.
August 6, 2012

Kansas Pays Schools to Boost Skilled Labor

The state is going to pay school districts $1,000 for every student that graduates with credentials in high-need jobs.
August 2, 2012

Washington Offers Voter Registration on Facebook

Partnering with the social media site and Microsoft, the state has created an application that it hopes will boost voter registration.
July 30, 2012

Vermonters Tweet for Tourism

The state tourism agency is giving residents access to its Twitter account so they can tweet about what makes Vermont special.
July 26, 2012

Live Video Chat Comes to California Police Department

The Redwood City police department is likely the first law enforcement agency in the nation to offer the service to citizens in non-emergency situations.
July 23, 2012

Pennsylvania Develops Program for Financially Distressed School Districts

A new bill in the state sets up a recovery program that comes complete with an early-warning system to prevent future financial distress.
July 19, 2012

Using Transit Farecard Ads to Generate Revenue

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority will sell advertising space on the front of MetroCards to make more money.
July 16, 2012

Prescription Drug Drop Boxes Fight Abuse in Ohio

The state aims to fight abuse of legal drugs by installing the boxes in police precincts in more than 20 counties.
July 12, 2012

Criminal Background Checks Speed Up in Massachusetts

The state's new web-based system reduces the time it takes to run a background check on potential employees from weeks to mere minutes.
July 9, 2012

San Diego Pilot Curbs Graffiti

Taking pictures of graffiti with GPS-enabled cameras and uploading them into a database has proven successful.
July 5, 2012

Talking Urinal Cakes Help Michigan Battle Drunk Driving

The state is using motion-activated, talking urinal cakes to raise men's awareness about drunk driving.
July 2, 2012

Georgia to Deploy Robots to Repair Highways

The new technology will improve worker safety, cut down on repair time and save money.
June 28, 2012

Apps Challenge Aims to Improve Detroit Through Technology

Competition will have individuals or teams design applications to tackle the city's problems.
June 25, 2012

Arizona Pays Employees for Money-Saving Suggestions

Public workers can submit their cost-cutting ideas to the state and receive 10 percent of the savings, if implemented.
June 21, 2012

Connecticut Pilots Using Recycled Shingles to Pave Roads

Using residential roof shingles will save money and the environment simultaneously.
June 18, 2012

Vermont Implements Universal Recycling

A new law bans the disposal of any recyclable or compostable materials into landfills.
June 14, 2012

North Dakota to Fund Child Care For Economic Development

The state will begin a pilot program aimed at providing more child care in it's booming western oil region.
June 11, 2012

Oregon Recycles Street and Highway Signs to Save Environment

Successful pilot project uses high-pressure water jets to strip signs for reuse
June 7, 2012

Maine Prepares to Launch First Statewide Electronic Image Network

New medical image archive will reduce costs and make health care more efficient
June 4, 2012

Colorado Army Base Moves Towards Energy Independence

Several technologies aim to save $24 million a year and make Fort Carson net-zero by 2020.
May 31, 2012

Virginia Implements “Troops to Trucks” to Employ Veterans

Program will prepare military personnel for commercial driving jobs in the private sector
May 29, 2012

Ohio Schools Pilot Online Student Testing

Several districts try out online assessment program which will be implemented statewide in Fall 2014.
May 25, 2012

Rain Barrels Will Ease Burden on Buffalo's Sewer System

Pilot program in residential neighborhoods will provide savings to residents
May 21, 2012

Laser Light Shows Could Replace Fireworks

Pilot program in California will pay cities to make the switch for holiday celebrations
May 17, 2012

New York to Require Pro Bono Work for New Lawyers

New York will become the first state to make pro bono work mandatory for admittance to the state bar.
May 14, 2012

Colorado Program Connects Inventors to Patent Attorneys

A new plan will target low-income inventors, allowing them greater opportunities and protection
May 10, 2012

Pennsylvania Community Colleges First to Adopt New Metrics

New standards will increase transparency and college performance.
May 7, 2012

Ohio Pilots Program to Train Volunteer Firefighters Faster

An intensive course over two weekends aims to provide townships and cities statewide with better protection.
May 3, 2012

South Carolina Hospital's Plan to Reduce Medical Errors

New program reduced the rate of mislabeled blood specimens by 90 percent.
April 30, 2012

Boston to turn Gas Station into Electric Vehicle Park and Charge Facility

Located in the heart of downtown, the lot will promote greener driving alternatives.
April 26, 2012

S.C. Pilot Program Will Require Food Stamp Recipients to Get Job Training

Two agencies will partner to target almost 100,000 food stamp recipients with no dependents, in hopes of providing jobs that can lift recipients out of poverty.
April 23, 2012

Baltimore Prison to Launch Program Curbing Cellphone Use

A managed access system will allow calls to and from authorized numbers only.
April 19, 2012

Kentucky and LexisNexis Partner to Aid Disaster Victims

After a tornado devastated Kentucky leaving 21 counties designated as federal disaster areas, State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach wanted to find a way for his agency to help the victims.
April 16, 2012

NYC to Pilot Multifunction Phone Booths

Smart screens will collect data for the city while providing neighborhood information to users.
April 12, 2012

IRS Developing New Program to Battle Tax Fraud

Authorities are working on a program to allow police-identified victims of identity theft to share their tax returns with law enforcement, potentially securing their tax refunds.
April 9, 2012

Los Angeles To Buy Solar Power from Residents and Businesses

The CLEAN LA program will allow the city to contract with businesses and residents to provide solar power.
April 5, 2012

Michigan Businesses to Sell Exports on Chinese E-Commerce Site

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and an export services company want to help the state's businesses with unique opportunity to access on one of China's e-commerce sites.
April 2, 2012

Building Sustainable Sidewalks with Recycled Toilets

Use of “poticrete” helped Bellingham, Wash., earn a green credential for sustainable walkways.
March 29, 2012

Green Button Initiative by Utilities Will Shrink Energy Bills

As part of their continued efforts to promote transparency, the Obama administration has announced the creation of a “green button” on utility provider websites.
March 26, 2012

Illinois Helps Fund New Chicago Tech Center for Startups

By creating a collaborative community of entrepreneurs in Chicago's Merchandise Mart, the state of Illinois aims to increase innovation and job-growth in the region.
March 22, 2012

NorCal Cities Offer Rental Workspace at Libraries

Santa Cruz, Palo Alto and San Francisco all have started pilots that allow public- and private-sector workers to book workspace at libraries, helping maximize building use and cut down on commute times.
March 19, 2012

E-Verify Self Check Allows Employees to Check Status

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's online Self Check allows potential employees to check their eligibility status before a future employer does.
March 15, 2012

Online Threat and Incident Reporting Aims to Increase School Safety

Online reporting software allows schools to submit, track and document potential safety threats in a centralized system.
March 12, 2012

Third-Party Enforcement of Building Codes Reduces Burdens

To increase energy code compliance and reduce administrative burden, certified third-party individuals in Georgia are helping to conduct code compliance tests.
March 5, 2012

Economic Education Goes Mobile

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has created a new mobile app aimed at increasing consumer knowledge about inflation and the use of credit.
March 2, 2012

N.H. Health Program for the Mentally Ill Increases Quality of Life

A health and fitness program for the mentally ill in Keene, N.H., will be expanded statewide due to its ability to improve one's quality of life.
February 27, 2012

North Carolina Judges Offer Counseling to Jurors

A new statewide pilot program will allow judges the option of providing jurors an opportunity to contact mental health professionals after experiencing graphic evidence during a trial.
February 23, 2012

Square: One Mobile Way to Accept Fares and Contributions

A small plug-in credit card reader is changing how cab drivers and campaigns accept payments on the fly.
February 16, 2012

South L.A. Bus Yard Transformed Into Unique Park

An industrial eyesore is now an urban wetland that can help clean stormwater and provide residents with green space to enjoy.
February 13, 2012

NYC’s Center for Economic Opportunity Wins Harvard Government Award

An anti-poverty initiative launched by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2006 is being recognized for its cross-agency approach.
February 9, 2012

Using Radio to Teach English to Immigrants

English lessons over the radio and on CDs provide immigrants a way to study the language in their own homes.
February 7, 2012

Paying Property Taxes by Shopping Local

A town in New Jersey has created a program that offers residents the chance to earn property tax credits by patronizing local businesses.
January 10, 2012

Making Airport Waste Profitable

One of the nation's busiest airports is using sustainable practices and a lot of worms to start making money on all the waste it produces.
January 8, 2012

Prisoners Fill in for Researchers During Tough Times

Washington state trains prisoners to do scientific research.