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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Reopening the Economy Under COVID-19: Tracking Containment

All states have begun phased reopening. An updated version of an earlier Governing resource page provides new maps that offer instant insight into progress toward COVID-19 containment in each state.

By Carl Smith and Ben Miller  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Work

Government Workers Risk Their Lives, Receive No Compensation

Thousands of federal, state workers risk their lives each day by showing up to work. Legally, they should be receiving hazard pay, but many haven’t gotten anything. For those that did, the payments stopped months ago.

By Zoe Manzanetti, Staff Writer  |  August 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Work

Local Government Employees to Work Remotely Until 2021

State and local government workers in Washington will continue to work remotely through the end of the year. Officials hope that the advanced notice allows time for adjustment and preparation.

By Zoe Manzanetti, Staff Writer  |  August 13, 2020
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Future in Context

Playing the Religious Card: A Long American History

Trump is not the first president to portray his opponent as anti-religion or of the wrong faith. The tradition goes back to the beginning of the republic. But the controversy has gained momentum recently.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  August 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Security

Search Warrants Can Require Defendants to Give Phone Passcode

New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that lawfully issued search warrants can call for defendants to turn over their phone’s passcode. But critics say the ruling infringes on privacy rights.

By Joe Atmonavage, NJ Advance Media Group  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Work

Though July Saw Job Recovery, Many Still Have Concerns

Even as cases of COVID-19 surged, public-sector employment — like the rest of the economy — continued a slow, steady recovery in July. But state and local governments foresee danger as they prep for next year's budgets.

By Ben Miller, Government Technology  |  August 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

Worcester Approves Body Cams to Improve Police Transparency

The police department for the second largest city in Massachusetts has touted the benefits of the $11 million body cam contract for improving transparency. But the public still wants the city to defund the police.

By Michael Bonner, MassLive.com  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

For Few That Voted In Person, Polls Were Adequately Prepared

About three-quarters of voters in Mankato, Minn., used mail-in ballots for Tuesday’s primary. The remaining quarter voted in person and saw seamless execution as polling places were prepared with masks and sanitizer.

By Mark Fischenich, The Free Press  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Security

Disinformation Campaigns Are Murky Blends of Truth, Lies and Sincere Beliefs — Lessons from the Pandemic

Many people who participate in disinformation campaigns are unwitting accomplices and much of the information they spread is accurate, which makes it all the harder to identify the campaigns.

By Kate Starbird, University of Washington  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

It's Uncomfortable: A Mayor's Life During the Pandemic

What’s it like to be a front-line government official in the COVID era? The mayor of Hattiesburg, Miss., talks candidly about "awful moments,” as he navigates a pandemic, an economic meltdown and racial tensions.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

The Tricky Question of When to Tap Budget Reserves

For local governments coping with the fiscal pressures brought on by the pandemic, it might seem that now is the time. But public leaders first should ask themselves some important questions.

By Fran David, Former City Manager and Finance Director  |  August 12, 2020
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