Connecting state and local government leaders

‘Surge Parking’ Pilot Prompts ‘Revenue Piggy Bank’ Worries in Chicago

Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois

Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois


Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: California’s big infrastructure funding proposal; Bridgegate sentencing; and Nevada’s state worker unionization bill.

PARKING POLITICS | A pilot project in Chicago to introduce a performance-based parking or “surge parking” rates for streets around Wrigley Field is being viewed by some aldermen as opening the door to the city maximizing parking revenue elsewhere in the city. “We have to be very careful to make sure that this does not turn into a revenue piggy bank for the city at our constituents’ expense,” Alderman Chris Taliaferro said. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has eyed expanding surge pricing to streets adjacent to other sports venues, including the United Center and Soldier Field. Some transportation planners have embraced such pricing structures, where the cost of an on-street parking spot increases or decreases according to demand. [Sun-Times; Reinveting Parking]

STATE LEGISLATURES | California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders in Sacramento will be introducing a multi-billion dollar transportation funding package that would raise the state’s gas tax and introduce new motor vehicle registration fees to repair aging roads and bridges. [San Francisco Chronicle]

In South Carolina, “a faction of rebellious Senate Republicans” squashed a GOP-led effort to boost the state’s gas tax by 12 cents a gallon. [The Post & Courier]

A proposal to carve out a new Cabinet-level agency from the North Dakota Department of Health is gaining steam in the Peace Garden State’s legislature. Under the proposal, a new Department of Environmental Quality would be created by 2019. [The Bismarck Tribune]

A legislative proposal to exempt groceries from Idaho’s 6 percent sales tax is waiting for the governor’s signature. Thirty-seven states currently do no tax groceries. [KPVI-TV]

With two weeks left in its 90-day legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly has approved a $43.5 billion state budget on Tuesday that fills a $400 million revenue gap. [The Baltimore Sun]

Nevada Democrats want to give state employees the right to unionize to negotiate wages, overtime, vacation and leave, but Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would likely veto such legislation. [KOLO-TV]

BRIDGEGATE | Bill Baroni, a former ally of Gov. Chris Christie was sentenced on Wednesday to two months in prison for the part he played in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal. Baroni was Christie’s top appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the time of the 2013 fracas. Christie, who still maintains he played no role in the closures, commented on the case on Wednesday’s Today show on NBC saying “it's not my role, or anybody's else's role, other than the judge in that courtroom, to pass sentence on people who have committed crimes." []

SCHOOLS | Portland, Maine City Council members can’t agree on whether to put a measure authorizing the borrowing of $64 million to renovate four elementary schools on the June ballot. Three members pitched alternate plans for lesser sums, even though the schools have gone untouched for 40 years. Getting a different measure on the ballot this late is unlikely. [Bangor Daily News]