Connecting state and local government leaders
Also: Missoula’s high-tech parking meters and conservative support for medical marijuana in Maryland.
Here’s what we’ve been reading this weekend …
AUSTIN, Texas: The Lone State State’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, was reportedly indicted by a Collin County grand jury on Saturday, according to The Texas Tribune. The charges will be detailed on Monday, but one of the two special prosecutors on the case told The New York Times that the charges include two first-degree securities fraud and a third-degree charge of not registering as a securities agent. [The Texas Tribune; The New York Times]
LANSING, Michigan: Do state environmental regulators still need to be keeping track of Canadian trash in Michigan’s landfills? Officials at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality say the issue of Canadian trash was settled by state and federal action a decade ago, but the department still must write a report on the issue every year, the Lansing State Journal reports. It’s one of 1,100 annual reports state agencies are required to compile by Michigan law. Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration is trying to streamline the report-writing process. [Lansing State Journal]
HAGERSTOWN, Maryland: While there may be some entrenched opposition to recreational use of marijuana in Maryland’s more conservative rural counties, The Sun reports there is conservative support for medical marijuana production facilities. Why? It’s not just empathy for pain relief for patients. It comes down to jobs:
Unemployment in [Washington County] has eased since it soared into double digits during the recession. But at 6.1 percent, the rate is still higher than the statewide average of 5.6 percent. And many residents have to commute 90 minutes or more to jobs in or near Washington [D.C.]. Decent-paying jobs closer to home are much in demand.
In Washington County, the five Republican county commissioners unanimously passed a resolution supporting a proposal for a medical marijuana processing facility. [The Sun]
LONG BEACH, California: Major power outages in this Southern California city have prompted inspections of underground electrical vaults downtown to determine if there are additional problems that could lead to additional outages. On Thursday, 30,000 California Edison customers in Long Beach were without power due to an explosion in an underground vault, according to Southern California Public Radio. "The city is continuing to work with [Edison] executives to make sure that this doesn't happen again. However, there still aren't any answers as to what the cause was for the original outage or this secondary outage," a Long Beach city spokesman said. [KPCC / Southern California Public Radio]
MISSOULA, Montana: Coin-only parking meters originally installed in the 1960s will be upgraded by the end of the year with new cloud-connected meters that will allow credit card and mobile payments, among other features. But the some of the older parking meter infrastructure might not be going away. As the Missoulian reports, the city says that the meter posts could be converted to bicycle parking. [Missoulian]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty.