March 9, 2022

How States Plan to Spend Federal IT Funds

Regulatory Roundup

How States Plan to Spend Federal IT Funds

States plan to invest more in IT, thanks to federal funds from several plans, including the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). E.Republic’s Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris expects states and local governments to spend a combined $130.5 billion on IT in 2022; their spending amounted to $118.7 billion in 2021. According to GovTech on March 7, technology wish lists for state governments include automation tools to help existing personnel save time, especially as they struggle with staff shortages. Other state priorities include identity access and management solutions.

Nursing Survey: 90% Considering Leaving the Nursing Profession in the Next year

A survey of 200 registered nurses working in hospitals found that 90% are considering leaving nursing in the next year. The study by Hospital IQ also found that of those with over 15 years of experience, 71% may leave as soon as possible or within the next few months. The survey noted six key findings, including a rise in patient-to-nurse staffing ratios, according to Becker’s Hospital Review on Feb. 28.

Calif. Agency Conducts ‘Mask Raids’ at Preschools, Interviewed Children Alone

Regulators from the California Department of Social Services’ child care licensing program “raided,” as some parents described it, the three locations of Aspen Leaf Preschool in San Diego. According to parents and teachers, the regulators separated children and toddlers from the adults to ask them questions about the preschools’ masking policies. Connie Wu, whose daughter attends Aspen Leaf, said her daughter was not yet 2-years-old when regulators interviewed her. According to Voice of San Diego on March 7, “Wu doesn’t know what happened in the room or how her daughter felt – because her daughter is too young to say.” Aspen Leaf received a Type A citation for not enforcing the mask mandate at the preschools.

Seaweed Farmers Discouraged by Laborious Permitting Process

In Washington state, Joth Davis operates a 5-acre saltwater farm, with a crop of sugar kelp, along with containers of oysters. While others hope to grow kelp in Washington, Davis operates the only kelp farm. Those interested in entering the industry face a lengthy permitting process, involving nine different agencies, along with time-consuming paperwork. According to Laura Butler, aquaculture coordinator with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, in Stateline on March 7, “There’s a lot of people who are interested in seaweed farming, take a look at that [permitting] flowchart, and decide there’s just no functional way.” Washington, along with other state leaders in coastal states, hope to reduce the regulatory burdens faced by aquaculture.

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