Connecting state and local government leaders

Iowa Gov. Supports State Preemption on Minimum Wage; Can Syracuse Block City-County Merger Plan?

The Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines

The Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines Shutterstock

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Winning and losing municipalities in Conn.; Pa. State Capitol vandalized; and Wash. state assesses data-sharing vulnerabilities.

MINIMUM WAGE | Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says he supports legislation that would prohibit local governments from setting their own minimum wage but also believes that the Hawkeye State should also increase its minimum wage of $7.25 an hour in order to remain competitive with neighboring states. The Republican governor previously opposed earlier proposals by Democratic lawmakers to raise the minimum wage in Iowa. Four Iowa counties have passed resolutions for higher minimum wages in their jurisdictions. [WHO-TV; The Des Moines Register]

CITY-COUNTY MERGERS | Can leaders in the city of Syracuse, New York, block a plan to consolidate with Onondaga County, as has been proposed by a commission? Because state law doesn’t provide a framework for such government consolidations, there’s no clear answer. But legal counsel for Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner—who opposes the city-county consolidation plan—says city hall can’t be legally be sidestepped. It’d also need the state legislature’s approval, something that has never been done in New York. [The Post-Standard / Syracuse.com]

TRANSPORTATION | A California lawmaker is proposing to lower the voter threshold needed to pass local transportation bond measures that appear on ballots from two-thirds to 55 percent. Making the change would require amending California’s constitution. State Sen. Scott Wiener has plans to introduce legislation on Monday to make that amendment. “We have massive unfunded transportation needs on public transportation, roads and bridges,” Wiener said. “We need to empower local communities to fund these needs.” [San Francisco Examiner]

STATE CAPITOLS | A man has been charged with felony crimes and public drunkenness after he broke into and vandalized the Pennsylvania State Capitol early Sunday morning. The man apparently entered the building, and sprayed the contents of a fire extinguisher along the halls and walls. In total, four floors were affected. [Philly.com]

DATA  | Washington state, like many other states maintains extensive databases that include a range of personal information about its residents. Now, Democratic lawmakers in Olympia are expressing worries that this data might be used by federal agencies as a way to identify and deport undocumented immigrants, or require registration based on religion. Pending legislation would prevent the state from sharing information with the federal government that could be used to ascertain a person’s faith, and Gov. Jay Inslee has requested that his staff determine what, if any, information in state databases could be used to target individuals based on nationality or citizenship status. [The Seattle Times]

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Florida Gov. Rick Scott is pushing back against lawmakers in the state’s House who want to kill a job incentives program and an agency focused on marketing the state as a tourism destination. Scott, a Republican, planned to hold roundtable discussions Monday to explain the value of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. House leaders have called both agencies “corporate welfare.” [Tampa Bay Times]

WASTE | West Virginia House Speaker Tim Armstead criticized the “unwieldy government” for not keeping track of vehicles the state registers and insures. Faced with a $500 million deficit, Gov. Jim Justice has proposed a $369,000 reduction in fleet purchases. “Not only do we see that there are questions about how many vehicles there actually are, whether they are registered, and whether they’re insured, there are vehicles that no one can locate,” Armstead said. [The Review]

IMMIGRATION | Demonstrators from 25 cities in Wisconsin descended on the Milwaukee County Courthouse on Monday to protest Sheriff David Clarke’s reported intention to enroll his department under Section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Enrollment would allow deputies of his department to perform certain duties of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer. In response to the protest. Clarke released a statement saying “[p]lease accept my regrets. I will be working with agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement helping them identify criminal illegal aliens and therefore cannot attend your rally being held for me.” [WBAY.com]

9-1-1 | Franklin County, Ohio governments have entered into a tech-sharing arrangement for fielding cellphone texts to 9-1-1. Individually, governments would have to pay $650,000 to buy and maintain such a system. "You as a citizen will not notice anything,” said Cecilia Weirick, the county’s regional 9-1-1 communications coordinator. “You'll probably wind up getting better service.” [The Columbus Dispatch]

STATE AND LOCAL RELATIONS | Hartford, Connecticut, is the big winner and Groton the big loser in terms of cities and towns receiving state aid under Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed 2017-18 budget. But most—138 out of 169 jurisdictions—consider themselves losers in a budget aiming to siphon funding from wealthy suburban municipalities toward ailing cities. [Montville Patch]