Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Pennsylvania lt. gov.’s marijuana listening tour … Florida secretary of state resigns … and the cause of the 2017 Tubbs Fire is ID’d.
Good morning, it’s Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. Jobs incentives lead our state and local government news roundup but scroll down for more from places Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Columbia, South Carolina; and Murietta, California. … ALSO ON ROUTE FIFTY … Coverage of the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C.: It’s Not All About Millennials. Mayors Look to Engage With Seniors. … A Key in Census Outreach: Finding Trusted People to Pitch Participation … Mayors Eye Two-Pronged Attack on FCC’s Preemptive 5G Order ...
Let’s get to it …
GOVERNORS | During his budget address on Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott discussed “a plan to pay out-of-staters $5,000 to take a job in Vermont, any job” as a way to bolster the state’s economy at a time when Vermont is losing residents “at an unsustainable rate.” Scott said during his address: “We simply need more people helping to pay the bills.” [VTDigger] … Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued three executive orders on Thursday related to state government, including “restructuring of the governor’s cabinet, enforcing transparency on the use of contract lobbyists by state agencies, and giving agency leaders more flexibility to restructure staff within the confines of their budgets.” [KOKH] … California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be moving from the Governor’s Mansion a few blocks from the State Capitol in Sacramento to a more kid-friendly home in Fair Oaks 15 miles away. [SFGate]
STATE GOVERNMENT | Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, joined by Gov. Tom Wolf, announced Thursday that he will launch a special listening tour across the commonwealth next month to get a better sense from the public about the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana. “Starting in mid-February, I will be traveling to all 67 counties to listen to everyone’s thoughts whether they agree with this initiative or have recommendations,” Fetterman said. “We want to make sure all Pennsylvanians have a say.” [WFMZ] … Florida Secretary of State Mike Ertel, who was recently appointed to the position by Gov. Rick DeSantis, resigned Thursday after photos emerged of Ertel, then the Seminole County elections supervisor, dressed up as a Hurricane Katrina victim in blackface at a party 14 years ago. [Tallahassee Democrat] … In Hartford, Connecticut, “Thursday’s public meeting of state auditors, the Department of Consumer Protection and lottery officials can only be described as awkward” as lawmakers “peppered lottery officials with questions related to a new audit of past scandals.” [WTIC] ...
LAW ENFORCEMENT | The office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul will undertake a review of the 6-year, 9-month sentence handed down to Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer convicted in the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. “If the AG’s office were to intervene in the case, it would be unusual, but not unprecedented,” the Sun Times reported. [Chicago Sun Times]
WILDFIRES | As fire investigators continue to examine the precise cause of the deadly and destructive Camp Fire in Butte County, California from November, an official inquiry into the start of 2017’s Tubbs Fire near Santa Rosa has found that the blaze was not sparked by a PG&E power line but “a private electrical system adjacent to a residential structure,” according to CalFire. [Los Angeles Times]
ENERGY | A Wyoming state senator and a small group are organizing a signature-gathering campaign for a ballot proposal in 2020 that, if approved, would quintuple the state’s tax on wind energy production. [Casper Star-Tribune] ... Florida Power & Light may get the green light from Martin County commissioners to “install up to 300,000 solar panels on 566 acres” of cattle pasture land during a meeting scheduled for Tuesday. [Treasure Coast Newspapers]
CITY HALLS | A city councilman in Columbia, South Carolina is calling for the director of the Columbia Housing Authority to resign after two men died last week in their apartments amid reports of gas leaks in their complex. [The State] … The mayor of Newburyport, Massachusetts says that challenging winter storm conditions weren’t the only reason why the city’s response was lackluster: Three public works employees were sick and a “key dispatcher” was on vacation. [Newburyport Daily News] … Murietta, California Councilman Randon Lane, who is Riverside Transit Agency’s board chairman, on Thursday “completed his quest to ride all 48 public bus routes that crisscross western Riverside County.” [The Press-Enterprise] … The Kansas City Council on Thursday voted to rename The Paseo, a major thoroughfare on the city’s east side for Martin Luther King Jr. [The Kansas City Star]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.