Connecting state and local government leaders

Teacher Retirement Overhaul Coming Soon in Michigan?; Municipal IDs for Baltimore Residents

Michigan State Capitol building.

Michigan State Capitol building.

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: New York governor vs. controller power struggle; California town is exempt from state ban on plastic bags; Tucson mayoral candidate sues city

TEACHER RETIREMENT | Leaders in Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature are considering proposals to overhaul the state’s teacher retirement health plan during the lame-duck session that starts Tuesday in Lansing, sparking concerns from public employee unions and other retirement stakeholders that a bill could be rushed through the nine-day session before lawmakers wrap up work in 2016. The Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System has a $26 billion unfunded liability. [The Detroit News]

MUNICIPAL ID CARDS | The city of Baltimore is close to finalizing optional government ID cards for residents making it easier for the homeless, immigrants and others lacking driver’s licenses to access city services and avoid unnecessary arrests. [The Baltimore Sun]

CONTRACTS | New York state Controller Thomas DiNapoli wants to strengthen his office’s contract oversight following a bid-rigging and fraud scandal that has led to a power struggle with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. The Controller’s Office recently sent letters to the Empire State Development Corp., controlled by Cuomo, and the state university asserting the authority to sign off on future contracts before they’re enacted. [New York Daily News]

PLASTIC BAGS | Legislative fine print paired with a local resolution from 2014 means that one California town now finds itself exempt from the statewide ban on plastic grocery bags. The law that bans the bags contains a clause that means that any local public agency that adopted a resolution before September 1, 2014 pertaining to grocery bags may continue to enforce their rule. The small town of Lincoln passed such a resolution in August of that year. [The Sacramento Bee]

BODY CAMERAS | State laws in Pennsylvania give law enforcement agencies broad power to keep footage from dash and body cameras out of public view. A recent statewide survey has found that police agencies invoked laws that protect investigative material to deny 10 of every 25 requests for public records made by Pennsylvania journalists. These laws could change however, depending on the outcome of a state Supreme Court case related to a request for dash cam footage of a 2014 traffic accident near State College. [The Associated Press via Philly.com]

CAMPAIGNS | Tucson, Arizona landlord Frank Konarski announced his run for mayor earlier this year, but he’s also suing the city for at least $15 million for interfering with a private contract of his. [Arizona Daily Star]