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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | CVS move surprises transit agency … Philly jury’s $10 million award … a ‘breakthrough compromise’ in Alaska … and Idaho's new grizzly bear season.
Here are state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention …
- Frankfort, Kentucky: The Kentucky Department of Revenue is in the process of implementing an expanded 6 percent sales tax on 17 services that weren’t previously subject to it and faces an upcoming July 1 deadline. That’s no small task. The expanded sales tax, which impacts services like landscaping, dry cleaning and veterinarian services, was part of new tax legislation approved by Gov. Matt Bevin. "Our responsibility is to administer the tax bill that is enacted. We have no control over the timeframe," said Richard Dobson, the department’s executive director. [WKYT-TV]
- Washington, D.C.: The CVS Health pharmacy chain notified the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority that it will stop offering SmarTrip card refilling services at its locations across the D.C. region due to ongoing problems with the SmarTrip equipment. The electronic farecards are used to travel on the Metrorail and Metrobus systems. "We are surprised and disappointed with CVS Health’s decision to no longer offer SmarTrip sales, a decision that will negatively affect thousands of low-income bus customers across the region," a Metro spokesman said in a statement. [WRC-TV / NBC Washington]
- Juneau, Alaska: While state legislators aren’t quite done with the current legislative session, they’re just about there thanks to House and Senate negotiators reaching “a breakthrough compromise on the state’s operating budget” that was reached on Thursday. A $10.5 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year has been agreed upon. [Juneau Empire]
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A jury awarded $10 million to a man who was “wrongly imprisoned for more than three years” based on false testimony from a Philadelphia police officer. The jury’s award, which the city plans to appeal, is more than twice the previous highest award, given to a deliveryman mistakenly shot by police in 2014. [The Inquirer / Philly.com]
- Boise, Idaho: There will be “one grizzly bear will be up for grabs” in Idaho as Fish and Game commissioners approved plan for a lottery system for a very limited grizzly bear hunting season, the first in the state in 40 years. [Boise State Public Radio]
- Owings Mill, Maryland: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, a Democrat who was running for governor, died of cardiac arrest early Thursday morning. County Administrative Officer Fred Homan is now acting county executive until the County Council chooses someone to serve the last seven months of Kamenetz’s second term. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Orange County, California: A gathering of 12 south Orange County mayors of Thursday brought more discussion about the area’s homelessness crisis, which has brought various deep disagreements among individual cities and the county’s Board of Supervisors about how to provide services and shelter. Not discussed: locations. A U.S. District Court judge who is overseeing two civil rights lawsuits related to the tent-clearing sweeps wants communities in southern Orange County to “shelter a proportionate share of the county’s homeless population.” [O.C. Register]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.