Connecting state and local government leaders
Also: Iowa’s new laws on growlers and gambling cheats.
MADISON, Wisconsin: A legislative proposal is calling for the phasing-out of domestic partner benefits for state employees following Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex marriage. The Republican proposal from Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt wouldn’t cancel existing domestic partner benefits but would prohibit new ones. But Democrats are saying not so fast: "I don't think we should be jumping into any quick reactions to this," Rep. Mark Spreitzer said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "There are couples that are on that registry that we need to make sure are protected, and I don't think it should be rushed through the budget as has been proposed." [Journal Sentinel]
PORTLAND, Oregon: Should Portland City Hall permit limited, legalized tent cities for the homeless? According to The Oregonian:
"I know the general public doesn't want to hear it," said Israel Bayer, an advocate for homeless Portlanders and executive director of Street Roots, the alternative weekly paper sold by homeless vendors. "No, it's not popular. No, it's not an answer. But at some point, the gap between places to sleep and people needing them is too great. We're overwhelmed."
PORTLAND, Maine: Did Republican Gov. Paul LePage abuse his power when he “threatened to withhold state funds from a private school for at-risk children unless the school withdrew a job offer” it extended to the Democratic House speaker? A Republican state senator, in a letter to the Government Oversight Committee, says that the allegations “offer a chilling example of a potential overstep of executive authority.” [Portland Press Herald]
DES MOINES, Iowa: Among the new laws set to take effect on Wednesday in the Hawkeye State: Liability protection against sledding accidents on city property, buying craft beer in growlers and redefined penalties for those caught cheating at gambling. [Des Moines Register]
MIAMI, Florida: Regular drivers of Miami-area toll roads might be getting some relief. On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, according to the Miami Herald, is expected approve a plan that would refund frequent toll road users “any toll money that’s left over after it pays for highway construction and maintenance.” [Miami Herald]