Connecting state and local government leaders

‘We’ve Got to Get Rid of This Stain’ on North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Texas lawmakers target Austin’s local authority; thousands of Colorado drunk-driving convictions may be invalid; and Pittsburgh’s police may get new horses.

CIVIL RIGHTS | North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is again calling for the repeal of the highly controversial H.B. 2, the so-called transgender “bathroom bill.” Before a gathering of economic development officials in Raleigh, Cooper said: "We've got to get rid of this stain, not only to remove the discrimination but also to bring back the jobs, bring back the sports and entertainment and bring back fully our reputation." [WTVD-TV]

LAW ENFORCEMENT | Police horses may be coming back to Pittsburgh. In 2003, the city disbanded its mounted unit as a way to cut costs, but on Wednesday, the Bureau of Police announced that it is in the early stages of re-establishing the unit, but that it doesn’t yet know where the funding will come from. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Lawyers in Colorado are questioning whether thousands of drunk-driving convictions could be invalid after a technician who certified the state’s breath-testing machines said his signature was forged on records. [The Denver Post]

WILDFIRES | Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday linked the Trump administration’s positions on climate change to increased risks of wildfires in his state. “The president is exposing these communities to more forest fires,” he said during a visit to an area northwest of Spokane, in the eastern part of Washington state. The governor was referring to Trump’s anticipated calls for slashing Environmental Protection Agency funding and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s skepticism of climate change. “Fire is a threat because of increasing drought, because of increasing heat, because of beetle kill,” Inslee said. “All of which are associated with climate change. Climate change is a threat to increased forest fires.” [The Spokesman-Review]

STATE AND LOCAL RELATIONS | A host of local ordinances Austin are under fire at the Texas State Capitol: its plastic bag ban, fingerprint requirements for ride-hailing apps, short-term rental policies, and bathroom nondiscrimination. State lawmakers also want to cap the city’s budget, arguing Austin infringes upon economic liberty. “I question that because Austin has one of the best economies of any city in the country right now,” said Mayor Steve Adler before a Senate committee. “I think that’s an indication that we’re doing something right.” [KXAN]

IMPEACHMENT | What are the chances the Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will be still be in office by mid-April? If you ask the state representative who first proposed that the governor be impeached, it’s slim to none. “From what I’m hearing I would expect by mid-April that the governor either will have resigned or the impeachment committee will be moving at a very rapid pace,” said State Rep. Ed Henry. [WTYV-TV]

AIR QUALITY | U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee have introduced legislation to overturn a decision last year that would require additional pollution controls at two coal-fired power plants in Utah. In an announcement Monday, the lawmakers said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority when it rejected portions of a plan Utah regulators put forward last year, and instead mandated the controls. [The Salt Lake Tribune]