‘Clearing the Way’ for More Strict Plastic Bag Rules in N.J.

The Rotunda in the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton.

The Rotunda in the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. Shutterstock

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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Obama Blvd. in Los Angeles … Michigan’s sky-high child care costs … and an education funding survey in Kansas.

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Environmental news leads Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup but scroll down for more stories from places like Kettering, Ohio; Sacramento, California and Topeka, Kansas.

STATE GOVERNMENT | Amid a “a flurry of vetoes and conditional vetoes” on Monday morning, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy killed legislation that called for a 5-cent fee on on plastic grocery bags in the Garden State. But that’s good news for some advocates of curbing the use of single-use plastic bags. A coalition of environmental organizations, calling for even more stringent rules, sought Murphy’s veto. “Governor Murphy just cleared the way for New Jersey to once again become an environmental leader,” Janet Tauro, New Jersey board chair of Clean Water Action, said in a statement. “Just as we had a paradigm shift 30 years ago with recycling, Governor Murphy’s strong leadership will go a long way toward making reusables the new normal.” New legislation from State Sen. Bob Smith would ban “single-use carryout plastic bags, expanded polystyrene food service products, and single-use plastic straws.” [NorthJersey.com; Clean Water Action via InsiderNJ]

  • Sacramento, California: Gov. Jerry Brown OK’d legislation on Tuesday that will make California the first state in the nation to completely end cash bail. [KQED]
  • Topeka, Kansas: In a 2017 survey conducted by the Kansas State Department of Education, school districts said “if they received $200 million in additional funding, about a third would go toward teacher salaries.” [KCUR]
  • Bath, Michigan: The cost of child care in Michigan can sometimes be more $12,500 a year, “more than the average net cost for tuition, room and board for a middle class ($48,000-75,000 income) family at the University of Michigan.” And the state has done little to help middle-and-low-income parents. [Bridge Magazine]
  • Lee County, Virginia: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued an official opinion on Tuesday regarding a controversial plan in Lee County to arm teachers at 11 schools the southwest Virginia jurisdiction, saying that he believes that the county’s plan is unlawful. “All of our kids deserve a safe, secure learning environment when they go to school every day,” Herring said. “Arming unqualified personnel is incompatible with that.” [WJHL]

LOCAL GOVERNMENT | City leaders in Los Angeles have approved a proposal to rename Rodeo Road, which runs through the Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, Leimert Park and Jefferson Park neighborhoods, for former President Barack Obama. “We’re thrilled that Angelenos and visitors will forever be reminded of the legacy of President @BarackObama when traveling across L.A.,” Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted. [@MayorofLA; NBC Southern California]

  • Hoboken, New Jersey: There was another water main break on Tuesday, “the latest in a string of frustrating incidents as Mayor Ravi Bhalla and officials from SUEZ water engage in an escalating war of words.” [WABC]
  • Kettering, Ohio: During a city council meeting on Tuesday, Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost presented an “Auditor of State Award” to the city’s finance department for having a “clean” audit. [Dayton Daily News]
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: Dockless e-assist scooters will return to the streets of Indianapolis on Sept. 4, city officials announced Tuesday. [IndyStar]
  • Atwater, California: This city in Merced County seems to be lucky to have interim City Manager Lori Waterman approved as the full-time city manager. Members of “the City Council and staff said no other administrator would want to work in a city with such a bad reputation.” [Merced Sun-Star]
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania: Federal prosecutors are recommending that Ed Pawlowski, the former mayor of Allentown who was convicted on a variety of corruption-related charges, be sentenced to 13 to more than 15 years in prison. [The Morning Call]

ALSO on Route Fifty:

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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