Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Some Kansas higher ed funds restored … Louisiana state lawmakers have fist fight … Michigan leaders have unexpected revenue to use.
Here are state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention …
- Atlanta, Georgia: The disruptive ransomware attack that crippled the Atlanta city government’s IT systems in March continues to be felt. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was supposed to release her first budget proposal more than a week ago, but recovering from the cyberattack has delayed the process. “Once systems were restored and validated, work commenced to prepare the proposed budget,” according to a city hall spokeswoman. [Reuters; Atlanta Business Chronicle]
- Topeka, Kansas: Gov. Jeff Colyer approved a new state budget on Tuesday that restores $15 million in higher education funding of the $30 million cut by then-Gov. Sam Brownback last year. That means for Pittsburgh State University, $640,000 of the millions the school lost in prior cuts has been restored, most that that going to the general fund. [KOAM-TV]
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Two Republican state lawmakers "had a gentleman's disagreement and settled it with our hands" at a “posh cocktail lounge” just before 1 a.m on Wednesday. State Rep. Stuart Bishop and Sen. Norby Chabert both apologized for their behavior. “I truly apologize if I did anything to upset y’all or make y’all look bad, because the integrity of this body is one thing that I cherish and I hold very dear," Bishop said on the House floor. [The Advocate]
- Lansing, Michigan: State budget planners have a few hundred million in extra revenue to work with for 2019, and while “the revised estimates amount to little more than a rounding error in the scope of the state's nearly $57-billion budget, … they should allow for increased spending on certain priority areas.” [Detroit Free Press]
- Glen Falls, New York: Although 46 communities in New York state have special permits to discharge untreated sewage into local waterways during heavy-precipitation events when local infrastructure can be overwhelmed by rain, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli wants state and local officials to limit such events. There were 1,900 overflow events that “dumped approximately 6.5 billion gallons of wastewater into 220 water bodies” between 2016 and 2017. [Glen Falls Post-Star]
- Chattanooga, Tennessee: A proposed municipal budget submitted to the Chattanooga City Council on Tuesday plans to boost funding for affordable housing, early learning, public safety and infrastructure. The proposal includes a $262 million general fund budget, nearly 3.4 percent more than the current budget year. [Times Free-Press]
- Richardson, Texas: Federal prosecutors charged former mayor Laura Maczka and her husband, developer Mark Jordan, in an alleged bribery scheme when Maczka, as mayor, allegedly supported “the unpopular 1,000-unit Palisades apartment project.” Maczka and Jordan pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and face 20 years in prison if convicted. [WFAA-TV]
- Mount Vernon, New York: A Westchester County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Mayor Richard Thomas on charges related “accusations that he stole funds from his campaign and inaugural committees.” [New York Law Journal]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.