Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Lansing awarded prize most cities don’t want … D.C. food truck regulatory apology … Tenn. short-term rental bill … and Colo. DOT’s marijuana study.
Here are state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention.
- Santa Fe, New Mexico: State Supreme Court justices on Wednesday ruled that 10 of Gov. Susana Martinez’s legislative vetoes were improper and allowed the bills to become law. State lawmakers sued the governor over the vetoes, “she did not specify why she objected to the bills like the constitution mandates,” and “missed the three-day deadline for some of the bills.” The vetoed bills, now laws, impacted by the ruling include those for industrial hemp research, high-speed broadband infrastructure, tax-increment development districts and financial aid for medical students. [KQRE-TV]
- Washington, D.C.: The District of Columbia’s government apologized to food truck operators for a rule, now rescinded, that had tightened a D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs lottery used for highly desirable food-truck vending locations around the nation’s capital. The rule prevented food truck operators with more than one truck from entering the lottery. “Some vendors have chided our decision to apply changes without input, which DCRA recognizes in hindsight was a flawed approach,” the agency said in a letter. [Washington City Paper]
- Columbia, South Carolina: Gov. Henry McMaster issued an emergency order to boost security at South Carolina’s prisons by limiting ”the flow of illegal cellphones and other contraband into state prisons by increasing staffing and boosting pay for correctional officers.” [Independent Mail]
- Colorado Springs, Colorado: A statewide survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation has found that there are plenty of Coloradans who don’t take the state’s prohibition of driving while under the influence of marijuana seriously. The survey “collected anonymous responses from 7,698 marijuana users and 3,722 non-users” and found that 69 percent of respondents who use marijuana have driven stoned in the past year. [CSIndy]
- Hoboken, New Jersey: Mayor Ravinder Bhalla OK’d an ordinance on Wednesday that would mandate gender-neutral bathrooms citywide—including those in private businesses. “This is an important step toward a truly inclusive city and ultimately toward a more inclusive New Jersey,” the mayor said. [National Public Radio; New York Daily News]
- Seattle, Washington: A mayor who leaves a city hall under a cloud of scandal, like Ed Murray did in the Emerald City, often leaves a lot of loose ends for the successor to deal with. In this case, that’s new Mayor Jenny Durkan, who “has a lot of toxic waste to clean up” when it comes to the internal acrimony of municipal governance and human resources. [Crosscut]
- Lansing, Michigan: Last week, Streetsblog USA awarded Michigan’s capital city with a prize that most cities wouldn’t want to win: the Golden Crater. Lansing beat out Hicksville, New York in the bracket-style tournament to crown a winning city that features acres and acres of surface parking in the middle of the city center: “While there’s a healthier downtown area east of the state capitol, make no mistake: This is a large, center city employment cluster where surface parking has metastasized to an outrageous extent.” [Streetsblog USA]
- Kern County, California: Officials in this vast central California jurisdiction have had difficulty connecting some more remote and rural residents to public health services, but have deployed a new “gleaming, $330,000, 40-foot-long behemoth” of a bus that “boasts two exam rooms, an ADA-compliant bathroom and a sleek, contemporary design.” [Bakersfield Californian]
- Nashville, Tennessee: State House and Senate leaders ironed out their differences on a bill that limits how municipalities regulate short-term rentals, like Airbnb. Gov. Bill Haslam has said he’ll allow the legislation to become law. [Times Free Press]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.