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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Florida State Capitol sexual harassment settlement … Mayor De Blasio announces NYC Care … and Pennsylvania’s carbon goals.
Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Leading Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup is state legislative news but scroll down for more from places like Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Leavenworth, Kansas; Bismarck, North Dakota; and Colfax, California. ... ALSO ON ROUTE FIFTY … The States That Give and Get the Most Federal Dollars … Boston Looks to Shore Up Its Harbor Against Flooding in 2019 … Detroit Gears Up for Decennial Effort to Avoid Census Undercounting … IRS Cancels Meeting on Opportunity Zones Rules Due to Shutdown …Let’s get to it …
ENVIRONMENT | California State Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced a bill on Tuesday that’s being touted as first-in-the-nation legislation that would usher in big changes at check-out lines at retailers across the Golden State by Jan. 1, 2022. “Instead of making paper receipts the default, let’s make electronic receipts, emailed receipts the default and make paper receipts by request,” the San Francisco lawmaker said during a news conference in Sacramento. According to a “Skip the Slip” report from Green America, a green economy and sustainability nonprofit group, paper receipts in the U.S. annually use 10 million trees, consume 21 billion gallons of water and generate 686 million pounds of waste and 12 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. [Assembly Access via YouTube; Skip the Slip / Green America] … Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that he signed an executive order establishing the commonwealth’s first statewide goal to reduce carbon pollution and the creation of a GreenGov Council to “boost green and sustainable practices in state government to help achieve the goals set in the executive order, while saving taxpayers money and creating jobs in the state’s clean energy economy,” according to Wolf’s office. Among the performance goals for state agencies:
- Collectively reduce overall energy consumption by 3 percent per year, and 21 percent by 2025 from 2017 levels.
- Replace 25 percent of the state passenger car fleet with battery electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by 2025 and evaluate opportunities for the reduction of vehicle miles traveled and incorporation of new technology where appropriate.
STATE LEGISLATURES | The Texas Legislature returned to Austin on Tuesday to kick off the new biennial legislative session that ends on May 27. Republican State Rep. Dennis Bonin was unanimously elected speaker, which “marks a new era of leadership in the lower chamber for the first time in a decade.” [Texas Tribune] … Two bills recently introduced in the North Dakota House “would require law enforcement training and data collection related to missing and murdered indigenous people.” [Bismarck Tribune] … Florida taxpayers will end up paying $900,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit involving a former legislative staffer who was one of six women to accuse former state Sen. Jack Latvala of inappropriate behavior. [WFTV]
HEALTH CARE | New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $100 million proposal for NYC Care, bringing health care on a sliding scale to “undocumented immigrants, low-income residents not enrolled in Medicaid and young workers whose current plans are too expensive.” The program would roll out in the Bronx later this year and then to all city residents by 2021. “We have the tools and opportunity to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers,” Dr. Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor for health and human services, said in the city’s announcement. [Bloomberg; MSNBC; NYC.gov] … Meanwhile in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee and Democratic legislators have announced a proposal for a “public option” health care plan through the state’s health-insurance exchange called CascadeCare. [The Seattle Times]
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom spent his first full day in office focused on emergency preparedness, traveling to Colfax in the Sierra Nevada foothills where he announced $305 million in funding that would be used, as the Los Angeles Times reports, “to accelerate the removal of thousands of acres of dense, dry forests and brush, expand emergency crews and modernize 911 systems.” Newsom signed two executive orders as well. The first order, according to the governor’s office “directs state agencies to consider risk management through an added socioeconomic lens. It asks agencies to identify geographic areas with populations that are particularly at risk during natural disasters.” The second order “modernizes the way the state contracts for technology systems, and the order’s first application will be fire detection.” [California Governor’s Office; Los Angeles Times; HuffPost]
LAW ENFORCEMENT | Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has tapped New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison has her pick for police commissioner. [Baltimore Sun; @MayorPugh50] … Sources told the Miami Herald that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, whose department’s response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has faced major scrutiny, has told his top commanders that he expects to be suspended by newly sworn-in Florida Gov. Ron DiSantis. [Miami Herald]
CITY HALLS | The office of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has reportedly been in discussions with the Oakland Raiders to play the 2019 season in San Diego before the Raiders relocate to Las Vegas. [Silver and Black Pride / SBNation] … Jermaine Wilson, the new mayor of Leavenworth, Kansas presided over his first city commission meeting on Tuesday. Wilson spent three years in prison after a 2007 felony drug possession conviction, which was later expunged. “When people hear my story, I want people to know there is hope, that there is another way to go,” Wilson said, according to KHSB. “You’ve seen a person come to the other side, who is making a difference, who learned from his mistakes, wants to give back, help the community, prevent crime, let people know that there is another way.” [KHSB] … The mayor of Mountain City, Tennessee was arrested on Tuesday night for obstruction of justice related to a traffic stop made on Dec. 22. [WJHL]
EDUCATION | The Bridgeport, Connecticut school district’s computer network has been the victim of a ransomware attack that came on Friday. [Connecticut Post] … The office of Washington State Treasurer Duane Davidson has launched a series of online educational modules designed to “provide quick and easy access to financial education topics for adults and teens throughout Washington.” [Washington State Treasurer’s Office]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.
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