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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Ohio passes fetal heartbeat abortion ban ... A proposal to move lobbyists in St. Louis ... Legal challenge to the tax for homeless services in San Francisco.
President Trump tweeted his support Friday and over the weekend for an idea that has circulated in the White House to move migrants from Central America who enter at the border to “sanctuary cities.” As initially reported, the plan wasn’t seriously considered by the administration, with White House aides saying it had been set aside months ago. But Trump in his tweets embraced the idea, particularly calling out California as a place where Democratic officials should embrace taking immigrants who are seeking asylum from violence in their home countries. At an event on Friday, he said, “California is always saying, ‘We want more people.’ We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply. Let’s see if they’re so happy.” California is a “sanctuary state,” which means law enforcement doesn’t generally help enforce federal immigration laws, such as by telling the feds when an immigrant is about to be released from jail. News reports have said federal immigration officials originally shot down the idea of moving immigrants as logistically challenging, but now are revisiting the proposal. For their part, mayors in cities that have embraced the sanctuary designation largely criticized the president for making people political “pawns,” while often saying they would be happy to take families in. “In San Jose and Silicon Valley, we happily welcome any families willing to endure such extraordinary hardship and to take such tremendous risk to endeavor to be part of our great country,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. [Washington Post; New York Times; Reuters]
LOBBYIST ACCESS | The St. Louis Board of Aldermen appears to be moving toward banning lobbyists from the floor during meetings. Although there is broad support for the proposal, some have raised concerns that banishing lobbyists to gallery seating will make it harder for members of the general public to get those seats. [St. Louis Post Dispatch]
SAN FRANCISCO HOMELESS | Business groups and an anti-tax organization have filed documents in court challenging the way “Prop C,” a tax measure to pay for programs to combat homelessness and build housing, was passed in November. The organizations contend the measures needed to be approved by a two-thirds vote, instead of a simple majority. Prop C won 61 percent of the vote. [San Francisco Chronicle]
ABORTION | Ohio last week became the latest state to pass a law banning abortions from the point where a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This means as early as six weeks, which is before many women know they are pregnant. So far this year, two other states—Kentucky and Mississippi—have also approved similar measures. These laws have not fared well in court when passed by other states, struck down because they effectively ban abortion. [USA Today]
BIKE SLOW DOWN | Atlanta bicyclists upset about plans to scrap a proposed bike lane in a busy area slowly took to the DeKalb Avenue on Friday. The 100 cyclists slowed traffic to a crawl to call attention to what they said are needed street changes that aren’t so car-focused. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
Laura Maggi is the Managing Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.
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