Connecting state and local government leaders

Cuomo: ‘New York State Is a Target for Hostile Federal Actions’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Kathy Willens / AP Photo


Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Missouri governor’s 'secretive tactics; a need for ‘drastic measures’' in Connecticut; and Uber’s expansion in Wyoming.

STATE BUDGETS | New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for a two-month state budget extension to stall a government shutdown. Lawmakers in Albany want to wait until after the release of the federal budget, due to the expectation of dramatic spending cuts that will affect states. "New York state is a target for hostile federal actions ranging from severe financial cutbacks to deprivation of legal and personal rights,'' Cuomo said in a statement released late Sunday. A temporary budget may be passed if a deal isn’t reached. “The looming threats from Washington leave us with two options: Our state budget must either fully anticipate and address our human and financial needs or we must keep working to reach compromise on the reform issues and remain financially cautious so we can adapt to federal actions once they are determined,” Cuomo said. [New York Daily News; Albany Times Union]

Meanwhile, next door in Connecticut … “I think what this calls for, in a sense, is the recognition this is a state emergency. It can’t be business as usual. Drastic measures have to be taken,” said Nicholas Perna, one of the state’s top economists, of the state’s budget. Perna suggests sunset provisions on all major legislation, forcing reviews, and creating an independent body to perform those audits of tax, spending and even casino laws’ economic impact. [CT Mirror]

CITY HALLS | Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has withdrawn his support of state legislation meant to help the city deal with its ongoing police and fire pension crisis because of what he contends is a “poison pill” amendment that is “so financially punitive for the taxpayers that it’s just a nonstarter.” [WFAA-TV]

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton signed two memoranda of understanding for economic partnerships with the Mexican cities of Hermosillo and Cuilacán, including opening a trade office in Hermosillo, the capital of the state of Sonora. The city of Phoenix opened a trade office in Mexico City in 2015. [Cronkite News]

TRANSPORTATION | A new Lyft shuttle service in San Francisco is seen as a possible direct competitor to the city’s Muni transit system. “It’s more privatization of our public sector and our public transportation system,” said Sue Vaughan, who sits on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Citizens Advisory Council. “We need to have a big conversation about this.” [San Francisco Examiner]

Uber has been operating for about a month now in Wyoming. But the app-based ride-booking service faces unique challenges given the state’s rural character. And not everyone is happy about the company’s presence. “Uber is, in my opinion, a semi-legal taxi operation that has spread around the globe like a virus,” a cab company owner told the Casper, Wyoming City Council last month. [Casper Star Tribune]

TRANSPARENCY | After taking office earlier this year, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, challenged state lawmakers to pass legislation that would bar them from receiving gifts from lobbyists. The idea isn’t getting strong traction in the Legislature. Meanwhile, there are questions about Greitens’ own secretive tactics when it comes to “dark money” campaign donations and disclosing who has paid his flight expenses and for an inauguration party. The governor’s allies recently formed a nonprofit that appears designed to raise money in support of his policies without revealing donors. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

ORGANIZED LABOR | Union leaders in Iowa have been shocked by the Republican-run legislature’s changes to worker rights and pay: tightening worker compensation, limiting collective bargaining and reversing and banning local minimum wage increases. The state GOP argues they’re ensuring the stability necessary to compete with Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City and Omaha. “In a typical experiment you might introduce one variable to see what the impact would be,” said Ken Sagar, Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO president. “They have introduced so many variables here, and I think they will have many unintended consequences. We put our state on a path in the wrong direction.” Meanwhile, local public-sector workers, especially teachers and law enforcement, are wondering how the law will impact them. [The Associated Press via Omaha World-Herald; Ottumwa Courier]

COUNTY GOVERNMENT | Rowan County, North Carolina is under fire in federal court for opening government meetings with commissioner-led sectarian prayers of one religion: Christianity. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld such prayers in 2014, so long as they don’t disparage other religions. But the county doesn’t rely on clergy members to deliver the prayers, a violation of the Establishment Clause, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. [Daily Tar Heel]