The Infrastructure Impasse

President Trump's Meeting Walk-Out Is Only The Latest Setback In Fixing America's Roads and Bridges. Here's What Else Stands In The Way.

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Three minutes into a scheduled infrastructure meeting with Democratic Congressional leaders on Wednesday, President Trump abruptly left the meeting, angry about continuing investigations into his administration by Congress.

For those following the fate of a potential infrastructure bill, it's only the latest in a series of disappointing setbacks that have thus far stalled any kind of momentum on a bipartisan pledge to fix the nation's crumbling transportation routes.

Posted on May 28, 2019
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How Your Clients Are Shaping You

The Best Part About New Work Isn't Business Growth. It's Learning.

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There are a lot of reasons to love new clients and projects. They provide fuel for the growth of your business, proof of the need for the service you're offering the marketplace, and a wider network of contacts and colleagues throughout your industry.

But the best part about working on new things with new partners are the things you learn from doing it. In fact, I can't think of a single project we've undertaken that didn't directly lead to a new software feature, a fresh perspective on tackling an unforeseen problem, or a more exact view of the challenges facing the regulatory agencies and consultants that use our software as the backbone of their public comment process.

Posted on February 20, 2019
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Conversation With An Environmental Planner

Eight Questions With Bari Schreiner of The Washington State Department of Ecology

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Surrounded by the natural beauty of the coastal Northwest, Bari Schreiner needs no reminders about the importance of her job as an environmental planner for the Washington State Department of Ecology in Olympia, Wash. Among her duties, Schreiner helps oversee public engagement regarding rule changes and other proposals affecting the state's environment. She sat down with SmartComment to discuss how citizen outreach has changed during her career at the agency and why her team is turning to digital technology to transform its comment management process.

Posted on November 8, 2018
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The 'Fake Comment' Problem

Stolen Identities, Tampered Submissions Are New Democracy Threat

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When the Federal Communications Commission closed the public comment period regarding its proposed net neutrality repeal last year, the final tally of total comments they received was unbelievable.

The agency, tasked with overseeing America's broadcasters and internet providers, received almost 23 million public comments about the subject-one of the most controversial policy issues to be put before the public in years. But to log that many comments, 1 out of every 15 American citizens would have had to submit a comment to the agency-a scenario that would seem to test reality just as it might government servers.

Posted on August 7, 2018
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5 Tech Solutions to Comment Period Hurdles

How Agencies Are Relying on Technology To Address Modern Challenges

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One of a free society's most fundamental attributes is the ability of citizens to interact directly with the people overseeing the public policies affecting their lives and environment.

Very often, this interaction takes the form of a public comment period, where citizens are invited to give their opinions on a regulatory proposal or Environmental Impact Report, with the understanding that their input will be considered and responded to during the decision-making process.

Posted on May 2, 2018
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