Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | California’s deadliest wildfire on record … recession worries as Nevada’s economy hums along … why Santa Fe really needs a city engineer … and more confirmed measles cases in Mich.
Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. The death toll continues to rise in California, where officials have confirmed 42 deaths from the Carr Fire, making it the state’s deadliest blaze. Leading Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup is Amazon news but scroll down for more from places like Portland, Maine; Detroit, Michigan; and Spokane, Washington.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. is planning to announce, as soon as today, that it has selected New York City and Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. as its choices to host its “HQ2” second headquarters campus—or, as has been reported recently, campuses. That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported Monday evening that the company may also build additional “major sites” in other U.S. cities. Meanwhile in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is “reportedly planning an end-run around the city council to rezone land for the humongous tech campus” in Long Island City, Queens. [The Wall Street Journal; GeekWire; Gothamist; Crain’s New York]
FINANCE | Nevada’s economy has been buzzing, but there are worries among state economists that “the state’s next recession is lurking around the corner ready to leap out and slash an unsuspecting state budget to ribbons.” [The Nevada Independent] … Illinois pension contributors may top $9 billion of the state budget in 2020. [Bond Buyer]
NET NEUTRALITY | Will the Trump administration challenge Washington state’s net neutrality protections has it has in California? Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office is “bracing itself for potential lawsuits.” [Crosscut]
STATE LEGISLATURES | The North Carolina General Assembly has started its lame-duck session where Republicans will be in “the waning days” of their veto-proof majority. [@NCCapitol / WRAL] … State legislators in Texas won’t start their next legislative session until January, but lawmakers got a head start by filing bills on Monday on “marijuana, taxes and daylight saving time.” [Texas Tribune]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico hasn’t had a lead engineer in the Land Use Department for more than a month, so “no development projects at all can proceed toward approval, and those that have been approved cannot file their final plat and start building until they do.” [Santa Fe New Mexican] … The Spokane, Washington City Council on Monday deferred a vote on a proposed ordinance that would “allow anyone from the public to spend time at City Hall, during working hours, unless they are obstructing or interfering with the work of City employees.” … After years of neglect and deferred maintenance, North Adams, Massachusetts Mayor Thomas Bernard is planning to ask the city council to borrow $351,000 for repairs at the public safety building. [Berkshire Eagle]
PLANNING | In Portland, Maine, fishermen and advocates of the working waterfront zone along Commercial Street are working on a referendum to strengthen protections in order “to save their industry from extinction.” [Portland Press Herald] … Detroit’s economic recovery needs to move beyond the booming downtown core. [Curbed Detroit]
PUBLIC HEALTH | According to a new state report, the anti-addiction drug Suboxone “tops the list of most-used prescriptions in Vermont’s public health insurance system.” [VTDigger] … The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging people in the state to get the measles vaccination after more than 15 confirmed cases being reported so far in 2018, “the highest level the state has seen since 1994.” [UpNorthLive]
SPECIAL EVENTS | On Monday, Reno-Tahoe, one of the three U.S. host bids to compete for a future Winter Olympic Games, dropped out of the running, leaving Salt Lake City and Denver. [Deseret News]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.