Connecting state and local government leaders
Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Ride-hailing supplants taxis at Phoenix airport; a Richmond City Council candidate’s Facebook flub; and Cleveland eyes income tax increase.
FARMERS MARKETS | State agriculture officials are planning to conduct inspections at farmers markets this summer, in order to verify that products labeled Connecticut Grown are, in fact, from the Constitution State. Local farmers have previously complained about rogue, out-of-state produce infiltrating the markets. A member of a family that owns a farm in Manchester said she’d seen a vendor "selling watermelons in June as Connecticut Grown, and we know that isn't possible." Henry Talmage, executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau, said: "I don't think anybody really knows how widespread or how big a problem it is." [Hartford Courant]
BEARDS | Gov. Matt Bevin’s new beard is making waves. Atypical of Kentucky’s top elected official, Bevin joked he “will shave again when I am no longer being sued by people in state government.” Attorney General Andy Beshear sued him for tinkering with several boards and House Speaker Greg Stumbo for his vetoes this year. The last Kentucky governor to sport a full beard in his official portrait was Democrat Thomas E. Bramlette, in office from 1863 to 1867. [Lexington Herald-Leader]
RIDE-BOOKING | Business for taxis at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has plummeted in recent weeks compared to last year, as UberX and Lyft have begun picking up passengers at the facility. Taxi trips from the airport are down 18 percent from a year ago for the three week period since the popular app-based, ride-booking services began operating. Trips totalled 33,375 between June 18 and July 11, compared to 40,490 during the same timeframe last year. UberX and Lyft drivers, meanwhile, scooped up 37,300 trips. "How can we survive?'' Yellow Cab driver Salam Khan asked Tuesday. [The Arizona Republic]
FACEBOOK | A city council candidate running for Richmond’s Third District is taking heat for posting a picture to Facebook of himself in a gun store with his finger on the trigger of a rifle and the caption “Gotta stay locked and loaded.” A friend wrote in the comments, “I just needa shoot a few hoes” and “Oops sorry ma,” to which the candidate, Dorian Daniels, responded with a tears of laughter emoji. Daniels eventually took down the post and issued a written apology: “I can understand the emotions that people are feeling in light of the recent string of murders not only in the City of Richmond, but across the world. I can’t control what others post and express on my personal Facebook page because it’s open to family and friends.” [WRIC-TV]
TAXES | U.S. Justice Department-mandated police reform may be one reason Cleveland’s Mayor Frank Jackson is asking voters to consider a municipal income tax increase. Without the tax increase, which raises the municipal rate from 2 percent to 2.5 percent, the city may be forced to make cuts to staff and services to pay for the changes to the police department. The most expensive change will be a staffing request for 120 additional officers over the next four years. Adding those officers could cost more than $11.7 million. [Cleveland.com]