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What the ‘420’ Cannabis Bill Could Mean for You

Accela
A new piece of legislation under review in the Senate could decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and push state and local governments to act fast to regulate the emerging market. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, introduced Senate Bill “420” this month to support a similar bill in the House that would give states the power to legalize marijuana, opening up new tax revenues and authorizing national insurance and financial institutions to provide support to cannabis businesses. While previous cannabis legalization bills have failed in the House and Senate before, pro-cannabis legislators and lobbying groups are optimistic based on a number of new market forces propelling cannabis adoption…. Continue reading

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Accela Serves Up an Environmental Health App to Fight Foodborne Illness

Accela

To make Valentine’s Day (and every day) dining safer, Accela unveils an App that equips food inspectors with mobile devices for efficient inspections and enables health departments to automate permitting tasks

Whether it’s fine dining, drinks, a box of chocolates or heart-shaped desserts, Valentine’s Day has an inseparable connection to food. Research group Statista estimates U.S. spending on Valentine’s Day candy and an evening out totaled more than $5.5 billion in 2018. Google Trends records a search spike for Italian restaurants at 27 percent during the holiday and food delivery apps like GrubHub see sushi orders jump to 15 percent, with customers four times more likely to order heart-shaped sushi dishes…. Continue reading

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Research Shows Surge in Cloud Tech on the Horizon

Accela
As citizens demand new services, many local governments have felt a push to consider new cloud apps, tools and infrastructure. Yet new research from Government Technology magazine indicates that this push may be just the beginning of a sweeping adoption of cloud technologies across the public sector. This insight comes through three infographics published on GovTech Navigator, the media and research company’s market intelligence site. In a 2018 survey of cities and counties researchers found that on-premise systems — like government owned and operated data centers — still far outnumbered local governments with outsourced, cloud-based data centers.  Among cities, 78 percent of survey respondents said IT systems were on premise;… Continue reading
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How to Uncover the Real Value in the Cloud

Adam Stone
cloud

Accela and Microsoft experts answer the hard questions around cloud migration

Government IT leaders today generally understand that modernization means moving to the cloud – yet concerns linger.Will financial savings justify the cost of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) rollout? How hard will it be to migrate existing applications to the cloud? Will government see the uptime and reliability it needs? Does a SaaS solution adequately address government’s security concerns?Experts from Accela and its cloud-platform partner Microsoft tackled these and other concerns in the webinar SaaS in Government: Insider Insights to Cloud Success that featured Dina Frandsen, the principal solutions specialist for Microsoft Azure and Amber D’Ottavio,… Continue reading
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Trailblaze the Uncharted Territory of Cannabis Regulation

Accela
cannabis
How often do you take a large black market, flip a switch and turn it into a highly regulated one? When Colorado legalized retail sales of cannabis in 2014, license applications poured into the City and County of Denver. While city officials had spent months preparing, they still faced the mammoth task of managing the demands of a novel regulatory program that came with unforeseen, real-time challenges and a high degree of outside scrutiny. Responding to those demands involved a coordinated effort across multiple city departments utilizing industry-leading technology to streamline application intake, back-office workflows, field inspections and community engagement. As cannabis continues to emerge from the shadows,… Continue reading

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How Digital Transformation Can Spur Economic Growth

Accela
economic development, permitting
Late in 2014, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the launch of Boston 2030, a 15-year strategy to create 53,000 units of housing across demographics and neighborhoods, and effectively plan for anticipated growth at a scale the city has not seen for more than 50 years. Boston isn’t alone in anticipating growth. According to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, his city permitted a record $2 billion in development in 2014. Additionally, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2015 Metro Jobs Forecast, all 363 metro areas in the U.S. will see future job growth. Meanwhile, the National Association of Counties (NACo) reports that job growth accelerated in 2014,… Continue reading

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Five Digital Strategies for Success in an Emerging Regulatory Environment

Accela
short-term rentals, STR, airbnb
Change is constant today with technology creating and reshaping industries. Government has to act faster, think smarter and scale regulatory systems on the tight timeframes of policymakers. Against this backdrop, a new study by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) explores this rapidly-changing regulatory landscape, delivering strategic insights from a survey more than 125 state and local government professionals. The research analyzes the impact of new and emerging regulations while also pointing to potential solutions and IT investment areas governments can use to manage change. Here are five of these standout strategies from the report that covers everything from the new cannabis market to the sharing economy…. Continue reading
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Study Uncovers Top Strategies to Slashing Red Tape

Accela
Bridging the gap between the public sector, citizens and partners has never been more critical. In an age where productivity, security and transparency are at odds, it’s essential for local governments to facilitate citizen participation without adding to already strained budgets. Traditional government processes are outdated, lack online capabilities and shield workflows from the public. As a result, there’s little information or proper insight into workflows, resource allocation and citizen-request management—further contributing to the divide between the public and its government. Government employees know their actions impact more than their day-to-day and resolve to better engage with their fellow citizens. They need the best tools to help them streamline processes and address the public’s key grievances…. Continue reading

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Research Shows How the 50 Largest Cities are Digitizing Land Management

Accela
Land management
Ask any contractor, and they’ll probably agree. The planning and permitting portion of a land management project has historically been a complex and time-consuming venture, riddled with inefficiency, manual processes and long waits for approval.For the average citizen (a.k.a. not an experienced contractor) trying to DIY a building project, it can be an even greater frustration. For the employees of city planning and other departments responsible for things like permitting, zoning and compliance, the sentiment is the same. Manual work, inefficient workflows and tedious processes keep governments from realizing cost efficiencies and best serving constituents.Fortunately, technology has helped eliminate inefficiency as cities adopt automated systems to streamline planning and development,… Continue reading

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Digital Transformation’s Impact on How We Govern the Future, Today

Heidi Lorenzen
Governing the Future
Over the last decade, emerging technologies have ushered in the need for governments to approach accelerated change and challenge in new ways. The impact of increased urbanization and shifting citizen expectations, combined with the ways technology is reshaping cities, is creating a call to governments and city leaders to evolve their role and shift their mindset around how to effectively govern into the future — not a simple task. The demands of the new mindset are twofold: a curiosity to identify the opportunities and challenges that a technology-enabled future holds, and a creative approach that seeks the right mix of tools and partnerships so governments are empowered with technology to meet new demands.Whether an elected official,… Continue reading

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