Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Northern California wildfire emergency … child care center lead risk … trouble for Utah school funding bill … and Richmond’s big bus realignment.
Here are state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention …
- Atlanta, Georgia: The idea of Georgia’s state government taking away control of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from Atlanta City Hall—a prospect that is now being studied—is facing major criticism from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Delta CEO Ed Bastian, who said at an recent event: "Atlanta is the largest, most successful airport in the world, and anything that would harm that in terms of trying to move it for political gain between the city and state, we're opposed." Said the mayor: “I am trying not to be on the bad side of the state, but continuing to have very open dialogue with the state.” Atlanta’s airport is the world’s busiest. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Aviation Pros]
- Lake County, California: As firefighters try to contain a quickly expanding, 10,000-plus acre wildfire in this Northern California county, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Monday. As of Monday evening, the Pawnee Fire had destroyed 22 structured and continues to threaten hundreds more. [Lake County News; CalFire; Sacramento Bee]
- Richmond, Virginia: State and local officials on Monday formally kicked off a major realignment of Greater Richmond Transit Company bus service in and around Virginia’s capital city. The new bus network, designed by Jarrett Walker + Associates, features the Pulse, a 7.6-mile-long bus rapid transit line running east-west through the heart of the city and select routes that offer frequent service. At Monday’s ribbon cutting, Mayor Levar Stoney laid out a vision for a larger transit network: “We’re going east-west now, but the hope and the vision for the entire region is a comprehensive transportation network that goes north and south, east and west, and takes citizens in this great city to places in the counties for work and pleasure, too.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch; @humantransit]
- Long Beach, California: A Long Beach fire captain was killed and two others were injured in a shooting at a home for senior citizens. [LAist; @lbfd]
- Ann Arbor, Michigan: A new report highlights need to reduce lead in drinking water in child care centers. [WUOM / Michigan Radio]
- Denver, Colorado: The percentage of Colorado students getting required childhood vaccinations inched up slightly for most shots in 2017-18, according to new state data. [Chalkbeat Colorado]
- Des Moines, Iowa: The Red Cross is distributing flood clean up kits as Gov. Kim Reynolds issues five new county disaster proclamations. [Radio Iowa]
- Salt Lake City, Utah: A proposed gas-tax hike to boost Utah school funding may be in trouble, according to a new poll. [Salt Lake Tribune]
- Queens, New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed recently introduced legislation that will allow the New York State Department of Transportation to seize public land to build an AirTrain line to LaGuardia Airport. [Curbed New York]
- Walker County, Georgia: Teacher pension funding is driving a spending increase for public schools in Walker County, Georgia. [Times Free-Press]
- Chicago, Illinois: With McNally’s Queen of Hearts raffle nearing the city’s $1 million cap, aldermen are voting to raise the limit. [Block Club Chicago]
- Fishers, Indiana: Mayor Scott Fadness is removed from office, but it's his own choice. [The Indianapolis Star]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based is Seattle.