Author Archive

Kery Murakami

Senior Reporter

Kery Murakami
Kery Murakami is a senior reporter covering Congress and federal agencies for Route Fifty. A longtime reporter, he has covered state, city and county governments, as well as transportation, at newspapers like the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Newsday. In Washington, D.C, he has covered federal policy areas including broadband, healthcare and higher education.
Cloud & Infrastructure

New semiconductor law aims to create ‘Silicon Valleys’ across US

$10 billion in funding will go to support 20 research hubs with a third of them set to be in small or rural communities.

Cloud & Infrastructure

Why cities and towns see a huge economic opportunity in the semiconductor bill

As the legislation cleared the Senate on Wednesday, local leaders from tiny Taylor, Texas, to metropolitan Phoenix were eying the investment and jobs it could bring to their communities.

Cloud & Infrastructure

Deadlines approach for billions in broadband funding

The federal grant programs will support state and local efforts to expand high-speed internet access and improve digital equity.

Public Safety

State and local leaders call for overhaul of nation’s 911 system

A group that includes mayors, police chiefs and state officials want to rethink who should respond to calls for help.

Cloud & Infrastructure

States must ramp up to administer broadband funding

A new McKinsey report says states have a huge opportunity, but they will need a dedicated team to map existing broadband availability, address digital equity requirements and manage grants and funding.

Public Safety

Biden’s executive order on policing could help spur local reforms

The directive, which includes varied restrictions and alternatives, drew support from reform advocates as well as groups representing law enforcement officers and cities.

Cloud & Infrastructure

Biden administration official offers tips for tapping broadband funds

Andy Berke, a senior broadband advisor, spoke to state and local officials about $45 billion in pending federal money to expand high-speed internet service.

Cloud & Infrastructure

Biden administration releases $45B for broadband to states

Guidance for the infrastructure program says states must make affordable broadband available to the middle class, too, and cannot exclude cities from being considered for the funding.

Cloud & Infrastructure

Internet service essentially free for millions under new Biden program

With a discount already in place, 20 companies have agreed to offer service for $30 a month. Advocacy groups are hoping states will adopt similar pricing requirements. 

Data & Analytics

How data-driven policies can help states and localities

Officials say that following the numbers and looking at evidence has proven useful in tackling a range of equity issues and with steering clear of partisan fights.

State & Local

Rural America gets help tapping into federal funding

Staff from the USDA will help least 25 rural communities apply for federal economic development assistance.

State & Local

States get extension to wind down pandemic benefits

Even with the 90-day extension to the public health emergency, states must still reevaluate which of the 80 million aid recipients still qualify for benefits and construct safety nets for those who don't.

State & Local

Biden’s budget calls for increases in key state and local programs

The president's plan would boost federal spending for housing, law enforcement and water and wastewater projects.

State & Local

Biden tries to hit reset on domestic agenda in state of the union

The President vowed to fight inflation, lower costs for families and crack down on pandemic-related fraud.

State & Local

Biden's municipal broadband push clashes with state restrictions

The new infrastructure law says states can't exclude municipalities from broadband funds. But many block localities from operating internet networks. Will the Biden administration try to strongarm states into changing their policies?

Cloud & Infrastructure

Labor Department defends response to states' unemployment fraud

The department says it's working on fixes after criminals siphoned billions in improper benefit payments.

State & Local

Democratic senators call for $5B in federal funds for election security

The money would go to cities and counties to modernize outdated equipment and upgrade cybersecurity.

State & Local

The looming battle over how to set ‘low cost’ broadband prices

States are gaining access to over $42 billion to expand high-speed internet service. But there are sharp disagreements over how to interpret a requirement for affordable pricing.