Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | LePage relents on Maine road sign dispute … Boca Raton mayor arrested … San Antonio smart city proving ground … Conn. school closures … and a new vets-only safe parking program.
Here are state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention ...
- Topeka, Kansas: The Sunflower State’s birth rate has been falling since 2007 and new numbers released by the Kansas Department of Public Health shows that the “state’s rate was 12.5 births per 1,000 people in 2017, down from 13.1 in 2016.” Researchers suggest “the economy remains challenging for young people, leading more to continue to delay having children.” The nation has seen a similar decline in birth rates. [Kansas Department of Public Health; Wichita Eagle]
- Boca Raton, Florida: Mayor Susan Haynie was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Tuesday charged with four felonies and three misdemeanors, including “three counts of official misconduct, and single counts of perjury in an official proceeding, misuse of public office, corrupt misuse of public office and failure to disclose a voting conflict” related to developers. [Sun Sentinel]
- San Antonio, Texas: During a meeting Tuesday, a City Council committee approved two areas of the city—Brooks and the South Texas Medical Center, to be used “as proving grounds for smart-city technology,” including “public Wi-Fi, innovative drainage systems, and the transportation of people and goods.” [The Rivard Report]
- Los Angeles, California: The West Los Angeles Veterans Administration hospital has opened up part of its parking lot for homeless veterans. “It’s for veterans only. And as far as I know, this is the first safe parking program for veterans anywhere in the country,” according to Safe Parking L.A. Executive Director Dr. Scott Sale. [Southern California Public Radio / KPCC]
- New Haven, Connecticut: During a Board of Education meeting on Monday, Superintendent Carol Birks said “that multiple public schools will have to be closed and consolidated by summer,” thanks to “state budget cuts and the phase-out of a major federal grant.” [New Haven Independent]
- Augusta, Maine: The administration of Gov. Paul LePage, who opposed then-President Barack Obama’s designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, has relented will allow directional signs leading visitors from Interstate 95 to the new national monument. [Portland Press Herald]
- Tumwater, Washington: Early returns from Tuesday’s special election showed a measure to overturn a local ban on fireworks was likely headed toward defeat. [The Olympian]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.