Seattle Region Local Governments Will Continue Remote Work Until 2021

On March 16, 2020, normally bustling streets are nearly deserted adjacent to Seattle City Hall, where workers there and most in the area have been asked to work from home.

On March 16, 2020, normally bustling streets are nearly deserted adjacent to Seattle City Hall, where workers there and most in the area have been asked to work from home. AP Photo

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Rental mopeds pulled out of NYC after fatal crashes … Tennessee governor disagrees with White House aide on closing bars … Police in New Jersey break up 700-person house party.

Seattle-area local governments agreed to keep employees who can work remotely at home through at least January 8 next year. The move to allow workers to telecommute into early 2021 doesn’t go as far as Google, which this week became the first major tech company to extend its work-from-home policy for most employees until July 2021. (Facebook and Twitter, by contrast, are allowing more indefinite flexibility for some employees, while companies like Amazon and Apple are currently slated to return in January.) In the Seattle region, the city and county governments worked together to come up with the plan, officials said. Right now, about 5,000 of King County’s 15,000 employees are working from home. “As one of the largest employers in Seattle, our telework extension is the right thing to do to keep our City workforce — and the communities we serve — safe and healthy,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement. [Seattle Times; GeekWire; CNBC

MOPED EXIT | After crashes in New York City, including two that were fatal, moped rental company Revel is pulling its scooters off the streets. “We’re reviewing and strengthening our rider accountability and safety measures and communicating with city officials, and we look forward to serving you again in the near future,” the company said in a tweet. Revel had actually expanded the availability of its mopeds earlier this year in New York, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said the fatal crashes raised questions about the safety of letting people rent something more akin to a motorcycle than an e-scooter. [New York Post

CLOSING BARS | At a joint press conference, Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee disagreed about what to do about bars. Birx said that the governor should close bars and limit indoor seating at restaurants because this is the “very moment where we could change the trajectory of the epidemic.” Lee refused to implement the recommendations statewide and said he would not give county officials the authority to do so. [Tennessean]

HOUSE PARTY | Police broke up a house party in New Jersey that was attended by over 700 people on Sunday. The party was in violation of the state’s limitation on indoor gatherings over 100 people. It took police over five hours to break it up. "Come on folks!" said Gov. Phil Murphy. "That's needlessly putting men and women in uniform and their families at risk." [CNN; NJ.com]

BRIBES | An electrical contractor was sentenced to two years in federal prison for bribing two officials in Los Angeles County to give his company the county’s business. He pleaded guilty to paying the bribes and was ordered to pay $821,366 in restitution. [Los Angeles Times]

Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.

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