Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Virginia on path to expand Medicaid ... another jail torture lawsuit in Utah … Georgia governor talks up Atlanta’s Amazon HQ2 bid.
Here are state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention …
- Boston, Massachusetts: A new city hall study casts doubt that building a massive $11 billion 3.8 mile-long harbor barrier to protect Boston from coastal flooding is feasible. Instead, the report recommends that Boston “should instead focus on smaller, shore-based projects, estimating it would take at least 30 years to build a wall while the need for solutions is far more immediate.” According to Paul Kirshen, the academic director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab who was the report’s lead author: “It does not make sense for decades, if not ever, to consider a harbor-wide barrier system.” [The Boston Globe]
- Daggett County, Utah: Another former inmate housed a remote county jail facility has filed a federal lawsuit “claiming that he was repeatedly shocked with stun guns and subjected to dog attacks by a guard.” The 80-inmate facility in Daggett County, was closed in February 2017 “after an initial investigation showed widespread violations and abuses by jail staff.” [The Salt Lake Tribune / Utah Investigative Journalism Project]
- Richmond, Virginia: State House and Senate members have approved a budget deal that paves the way to expand Medicaid eligibility in Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam has signaled he will sign the budget legislation that “will begin a two-phased process of receiving federal approval to expand Medicaid in Virginia on Jan. 1, relying on billions of dollars in long-available federal funds and a pair of taxes on hospital revenues to pay for it.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
- Albuquerque, New Mexico: While construction on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit bus line is wrapped up, the project won’t likely open until this winter due to continued problems with the BYD electric buses that were procured for the project. [KRQE-TV]
- Seattle, Washington: Mayor Jenny Durkan and other city officials gathered at a collection of tiny houses for homeless women on Wednesday and announced a plan that would add 500 homeless shelter beds at select locations in the city. The expansion of shelter beds would be funded by $6.3 million generated from sales of city-owned property. [KUOW]
- Atlanta, Georgia: Gov. Nathan Deal has confidence that the ongoing investigation into city hall corruption won’t scuttle Atlanta’s chances at landing Amazon.com, Inc.’s sought-after HQ2 campus. “The new mayor has been very active in working with us at the state level and very proactive in terms of new business development,” Deal said this week of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I think she has the right attitude and the right approach to it.” [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.