Technology

May a private entity running a public access channel ban speakers based on the content of their speech—something a government entity running the same channels could not do? Yes, the Supreme Court held in a 5-4 opinion in Manhattan Community Access Corporation v. Halleck. Why? Because the First Amendment doesn’t apply to private entities in this instance.

The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 authorizes states and local governments to require cable operators to set aside channels on their cable systems for public access. Under New York law the cable operator operates the public access channels unless the local government chooses to do so or designates a private entity to do so.

New York City designated a private nonprofit, Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), to operate the public access channels in Manhattan. MNN suspended two producers from its facilities and services after MNN ran a film they produced about MNN’s alleged neglect of the East Harlem community. The producers claimed MNN violated their First Amendment free speech rights when it “restricted their access to the public access channels because of the content of their film.”

There is a tremendous pressure on cities. Already, 1.4 million people around the world are moving to cities and by 2050 they are expected to provide for 70 percent of the world’s population. Although this influx can fuel economic growth and cultural vibrancy, it can also strain cities’ abilities to keep their residents safe, healthy and prosperous. In the wake of recent natural disasters and civic threats, there is a real sense of urgency to make cities more resilient and sustainable.

The 2018 CSG National Conference in Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati in December featured a day-long policy academy on “The Intersection of Innovation and Infrastructure.” The event included policy discussions on autonomous and connected vehicles and truck platooning, state strategies for advancing the electric vehicle marketplace, ride-hailing and mobility innovations, how to enable the technology underpinning infrastructure innovation and the infrastructure investments and policy changes needed to drive innovation forward. In addition, Michael Stevens, chief innovation officer for the city of Columbus, Ohio, gave a keynote address about the city’s multi-million-dollar smart city initiative. Here’s a summary of what took place along with select comments from the day’s speakers. Below you’ll also find a variety of links to articles and reports that drive the conversation forward on many of these topics.

CSG Midwest
A first-of-its-kind study in Minnesota details a dramatic rise in the use of telemedicine in that state. Between 2010 and 2015, the state’s number of “virtual visits” jumped from 11,113 to 86,238. These new findings, the result of research conducted by the state Department of Health and University of Minnesota School of Public Health, show that telemedicine “may be emerging as an option to overcome some of the geographical barriers of accessing specialty care,” state Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm says.

The Council of State Governments hosted its 2018 National Conference from Dec. 5th - Dec. 8th in Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati.

The meeting provided state leaders with a full agenda structured to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing state governments. If you would like to review the agendas and speakers, or get copies of the presentations and related materials, please

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On December 6 during the CSG 2018 National Conference in Northern Kentucky-Greater Cincinnati, CSG convened a policy academy on The Intersection of Innovation and Infrastructure. This page includes meeting resources including the policy academy agenda, speaker bios, information about program sponsors and PowerPoint presentations from several of the day's speakers.

Innovations in technology are changing the way we travel, but are also presenting state leaders with an ever-expanding list of policy challenges. Autonomous vehicle and truck platoon testing, increasing sales of electric and alternative fuel vehicles, and the exponential growth of ride-hailing companies have significant policy implications in areas such as workforce development, data management, privacy, insurance, traffic safety, urban planning, transportation funding and environmental protection. State officials are also working with partners to build fiber and broadband networks to enable innovations like connected automation, all-electronic tolling, and smart city and intelligent transportation system technologies. This day-long policy academy highlighted many of these transportation and infrastructure innovations and what they mean for policymakers.

The repeal of net neutrality rules under the Obama administration has now been in effect for four months. During this time, states have re-enacted the rules at the state level, urged the federal government to reinstate the rules, and appealed the decision to a D.C. federal court. Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers—including Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum, and others—should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

CSG Midwest
Ohio lawmakers are hopeful that new blockchain legislation will make the state a leader in developing the emerging technology and attracting businesses that would use it.

The first seven months of 2018 have been a time of significant transition for the nation’s largest ride-hailing companies, Lyft and Uber. With new acquisitions, the companies are re-writing their corporate stories and seeking a future as not just tech-enabled taxi services but full-service, multimodal mobility providers. Meanwhile, policymakers around the country are exploring how to address the impacts of ride-hailing on cities, public transit, the ride-hailing workforce, the economy, the taxi industry, equity of access to transportation and other areas. Here’s a look at what’s happening with ride-hailing in a number of states, along with a collection of links to articles on recent industry developments and the latest research on ride-hailing’s impacts and policy implications.

There have been a variety of activities in the world of autonomous vehicles this spring and summer. Here’s a roundup of the most recent federal, state and local policy actions, industry developments and research reports on the topic.

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