Minnesota’s ‘Remarkable Recovery From the Shambles’

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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Mayoral memo on e-scooter geofencing … active-shooter kits for police … and improving Boston-area commuter rail.

Good morning, it’s Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Leading Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup is some pleasant budget news from the North Star State but scroll down for more from places like Onslow County, North Carolina; San José, California; and Lafayette, Colorado.

ALSO ON ROUTE FIFTY Report says, racial bias continues to limit black homeowners’ wealth, upward economic mobilityto digitize, Rhode Island IT must first fill its talent pool … an evacuation center needs time to recover from disaster recovery …  measuring results of early childhood spending … and Wisconsin Democrats mull litigation after GOP lame-duck session.

Let’s get to it …

BUDGET PLANNING | Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will be leaving his successor, Gov.-elect Tim Walz, with a $1.2 billion budget surplus for the next two years, the result of a strong economy and anticipated savings in health care costs. That’s according to new state budget forecasts released Thursday. Dayton, who started his governorship with a $6.2 billion budget deficit, touted the Minnesota’s “remarkable recovery from the shambles” . [Star Tribune; West Central Tribune]

TRANSPORTATION & MOBILITY | In memo released Thursday, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and two councilmembers, Dev Davis and Raul Peralez,  said that e-scooter companies should utilize geofencing technology to slow scooters in some areas and parking the dockless mobility devices unsafely. [The Mercury News] … Increasing service outside of peak commuting times on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s expansive commuter rail network could transform public transit in the Boston area more than the last expansion of the T’s Red and Orange subway lines. The vision of more frequent MBTA commuter rail service “hasn’t fallen on deaf ears” at Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which is studying long-term ways to improve service across the regional rail network. [The Boston Globe]

DISASTER RECOVERY | Local authorities in Malibu, California issued evacuation orders for areas in the fire-scarred city on Thursday, which has been threatened with mudslides and debris flows amid rainy weather in the Los Angeles area. [Malibu Times] … North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper visited a middle school in Onslow County, an area hit hard during Hurricane Florence where the local school district sustained $125 million in damage to buildings. [WITN]

MEDICAID EXPANSION | Maine Gov. Paul LePage may leave office without having to implement a voter-approved measure to expand Medicaid after a Superior Court judge on Thursday both ruled against the Republican governor’s request for stay of a previous order to expand Medicaid eligibility while also delaying the deadline until after LePage leaves office. That means Democrat Janet Mills, who supports the expansion of Medicaid, will be responsible for implementation when she becomes governor next year. [Bangor Daily News]

LAW ENFORCEMENT | In Lafayette, Colorado, police officers are now being equipped with active-shooter kits which contain “a ballistic helmet and vest containing two ceramic plates on both the front and back. The outfit also comes equipped with wound trauma kits.” [Daily Camera] … The Ohio State Senate has given final approval to a bill called Sierha’s Law that would create a new statewide law enforcement database for violent offenders. [Toledo Blade]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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