Author Archive

Kate Elizabeth Queram

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a staff correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty. She most recently covered state and local government for the News & Record, a daily newspaper in Greensboro, N.C. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Health & Human Services

His Wife's Nursing Home Facility Went on Lockdown. So He Got a Job There.

A Michigan man got a part-time job at his wife's nursing home after the facility stopped allowing visitors during the coronavirus pandemic. The state is one of 20 where long-term care facilities remain on total lockdown.

Health & Human Services

Pets Are Testing Positive for Coronavirus

A dog in Louisiana is the eighth pet in the United States to test positive for the virus that causes Covid-19. It's unlikely that animals can transmit the virus to people, according to the CDC—but they can catch it from their owners.

Management

Seven States Band Together to Purchase Rapid-Result Covid Tests

The compact, negotiated by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, aims to increase production of the tests, which can deliver results in less than a half hour.

Management

States Crack Down on Large Gatherings as Covid-19 Continues to Spread

Minnesota officials are seeking damages from a ranch owner who held a three-day rodeo in defiance of state regulations on large gatherings. They say at least one attendee tested positive for Covid-19 days after the event.

Finance

New Jersey Could Allow Local Governments to Borrow to Avoid Budget Cuts

Lawmakers this week approved legislation that would allow county and municipal governments to issue "coronavirus relief bonds" they would then pay back over 10 years.

Tech & Data

Cities Turn to the Sewers to Track the Prevalence of Covid

Testing wastewater samples can give public health officials a heads up that an outbreak is looming, as people infected with SARS-Cov-2 shed the virus in their feces weeks before they begin showing symptoms.

Management

States Include Job Training in Reopening Plans

South Dakota will offer free or discounted job training to people who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, one of several states to include employment programs in long-term recovery plans.

Health & Human Services

A Government-University Partnership to Train Students as Contact Tracers

Students at Dominican University in San Rafael, California, can learn to be contact tracers and get on-the-job training in pandemic response with the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.

Management

Facing Poll Worker Shortage, One State Offers Credit Hours to Lawyers Who Volunteer

The Ohio Supreme Court approved a rule change to grant four hours of continuing education credits to practicing attorneys who work a full shift at the polls on Election Day.

Management

States Let Law School Grads Work Without Taking the Bar Exam

Earlier this month, Louisiana cancelled the bar exam. This week the state became the fourth to enact "diploma privilege," allowing recent law school graduates to practice law without sitting for the three-day bar exam.

Management

Covid-19 Could Permanently Close Up to a Third of Museums

The devastating financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is being felt at cultural institutions across the country, according to a survey of more than 750 museum directors.

Finance

Coronavirus Impact on County Budgets Projected to Total More than $200 Billion

Increased costs related to the Covid-19 response coupled with decreasing revenues have counties bracing for a budget shortfall through at least the next fiscal year, according to a survey by the National Association of Counties.

Management

State Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Reimburse Restaurants for Costs of Stalled Reopening

Legislation before the New Jersey legislature would use federal coronavirus relief funds to reimburse restaurants, caterers and bars for preparations to resume in-person dining before it was canceled by the governor.

Infrastructure

Report: High-Tide Flooding Broke Records Last Year. It Will Probably Keep Getting Worse.

Nineteen locations around the country in 2019 set or tied records on the number of flood days, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found.

Tech & Data

How One City Went Virtual In 30 Days

The southern California city of El Cajon moved to paperless permitting in just under a month, a project that had originally been expected to take a year.

Management

Hoping to Spur Participation, City Unleashes the Census Cowboy

The "census cowboy" will ride on horseback to 10 neighborhoods in Chicago with the lowest participation rates in the federal census, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this week.

Health & Human Services

Dribble, Don't Spit: University Debuts New Saliva-Based Covid Test

The test is free for students, faculty and staff at the University of Illinois, where it was developed. Results are available in 24 hours, but it's unclear whether testing would be mandatory.

Public Safety

It Can Be Difficult to Revoke a Police Officer's License. Some States Are Trying to Make it Easier.

Nearly all states require police officers to be certified, but not every state has a process for revoking that license, even in the face of egregious misconduct.

Health & Human Services

Supreme Court Says Employers Can Deny Birth Control Coverage Due to Religious or Moral Objections

In a 7-2 decision, the court said the Affordable Care Act grants the federal government power to "identify and create exemptions from its own guidelines."

Management

Goodbye, Confederate Statues. Hello, Dolly Parton and Chef Boyardee?

There's little consensus on what to put up in place of Confederate monuments and other controversial political statues.