Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Md. county will pay to remove 19 flood-vulnerable homes … Boston is ready for winter … small S.D. towns struggle to pay for road repairs.
Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. Leading Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup but scroll down for more stories from places like Lincoln, Nebraska; Cheektowaga, New York; and San Francisco, California.
STATE GOVERNMENT | With the stroke of a pen, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week corrected a long standing misspelling. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, a suspension span connecting Staten Island with Brooklyn is now officially the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge. The bridge is named for explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, whose name has a double “z,” but only had one “z” when it opened in 1964. “We are correcting this decades-old misspelling out of respect to the legacy of the explorer and to New York’s heritage,” Cuomo said in a statement. [amNY; Gov. Andrew Cuomo]
- St. Paul, Minnesota: At long last, motorists in the North Star State can now get a driver’s license that’s compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. But officials with Minnesota Driver Vehicle Services are asking people to wait for a bit. [KMSP / Fox9]
- Lincoln, Nebraska: Through a newly introduced program, Nebraska state government employees can now “donate vacation time to new and expecting moms within their agencies.” [Omaha World-Herald]
- Sacramento, California: A vote by the California Air Resources Board last week on “a fairly obscure regulation that requires oil refiners and makers of other fuels to reduce the ‘carbon intensity’ of their products,” will “raise gas prices as much as 36 cents a gallon by 2030—and diesel by 44 cents.” The Sacramento Bee]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | In Maryland, the Howard County Council has voted to “pay for the removal of 19 buildings in historic Ellicott City,” which suffered two deadly flash floods since 2016 due in part to its vulnerable topography, where numerous streams meet before emptying into the Patapsco River. State and local officials are looking to improve flood resiliency by opening up some channels and slowing water through the heart of the city during heavy precipitation events. The National Trust for Historic Preservation fears that the removal of the buildings would endanger Ellicott City’s place on the National Register of Historic Places. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Boston, Massachusetts: The Boston Public Works Department showed off its freshly delivered road salt supply for the winter—more than 3,366 tons of salt. [@BostonDPW]
- San Francisco, California: The San Francisco Housing Authority was among 285 public housing agencies across the nation to receive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for rent subsidies aimed at getting homeless people with disabilities into more stable housing. Mayor London Breed said the $1.8 million in funding is “an incredible opportunity for us to help 99 San Franciscans with disabilities find a path off the streets and into stable housing.” [@LondonBreed]
- Cheektowaga, New York: Public health officials in Erie County, which has seen five times as many cases of Hepatitis A this year compared with recent years, have said a pizzeria in Cheektowaga is responsible for four cases. [The Buffalo News]
- Emery, South Dakota: With “a low property tax base, limited sales tax revenues and few options for government grants,” many smaller South Dakota towns struggle to finance road upgrades and have “endured failing streets for decades.” [SD News Watch via Argus Leader]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.