The CMS said it has detected a breach in a government computer system used by agents and brokers to assist consumers with health plan enrollment through the Affordable Care Act exchange, and it potentially exposed the personal information of roughly 75,000 individuals. The agency said the system has been disabled to implement new security measures and could be restored within seven days.
Washington state's Supreme Court has found that sentencing anyone younger than 18 to life without possibility of parole amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and, therefore, violates the state constitution. The split decision comes after last week's unanimous ruling that struck down the death penalty in the state.
Federal officials and state governments are collaborating to boost security for the 2018 midterm elections and avoid the problems of the 2016 presidential election, which included allegations of Russian tampering. Officials from the US Department of Homeland Security say the 2018 vote will be the most secure in modern times, although critics say security measures have not gone far enough.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has launched an effort urging food and beverage producers to reduce the amount of sugar in their products by 2025. The department participated in a sodium-reduction initiative from 2009-15 it says led to a 6.8% drop in sodium levels of some bestselling foods.
Darkened tunnels and tripping hazards are among the threats to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority workers detailed in three consecutive monthly Federal Transit Administration reports. Inspectors also cited broken or soot-covered lights that resulted in zero visibility along with water leaks that haven't been completely repaired.
Sanders County, Mont., has been using the Hyper-Reach mass-notification system since Aug. 1, funded by $5,000 from grants, the county budget and 911 funds. County Emergency Manager Bill Naeglei said the system is especially helpful for disseminating information, since the police force is relatively small for such a large area.
Employees who are eager to please often take on too much work, which is all the more reason for CEOs and other leaders to establish clear goals for their teams, writes Joel Trammell, CEO of Black Box Network Services. "Once an employee truly understands the mission and strategy, he or she has a powerful sorting tool for incoming requests," he writes.
ASPA's awards program is accepting nomination forms through Nov. 9. If you know of a public administrator or scholar who deserves national recognition for their contributions to public service, please submit their name for consideration. Chapters and Sections are also eligible for recognition related to training programs and newsletters. With 20 award categories from which to choose, there are plenty of options available to honor excellence in public service. Review our slate of awards here and start working on your nomination!
ASPA Fall Election Ballots Distributed Oct. 29
ASPA's fall election voting begins Oct. 29. Look for your ballot in your email, and make sure you participate in the ASPA democratic process! Just as the national elections taking place next month demand your civic action, the ASPA elections are an important way our members engage at the national level and make their priorities known. You can find the slate of candidates, their biographies and candidate statements on our website. Take time now to review these details and be prepared to vote in a couple weeks. Members will have until Nov. 26 to submit completed ballots. Plan now to participate and ensure your interests are represented on ASPA's National Council for the coming year. (You'll need your ASPA login information to vote; contact us if you need a reminder for those details. Only individuals with active memberships as of Oct. 28 will be provided with ballots; if you need to renew your membership, do so now.)