The ‘Sky Is Really Falling’ on Jacksonville?; Calif. Lawmakers Call for Judge’s Resignation

Jacksonville, Florida

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Also in our State and Local Weekend Digest: N.Y. attorney general questions internet speed and ‘stolen’ land in N.C.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
PENSIONS | Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has used strong words to describe his city’s pension debt crisis. “Look, the sky is really falling,” the mayor said in January, when he laid out a plan for a special sales tax to reduce the city’s $2.8 billion in pension debt. Voters in Florida’s largest city will consider Curry’s plan in an Aug. 30 vote. But is the fiscal situation as dire as the mayor has said? Not everyone is convinced. "I'm concerned about the approach that's being used. It's too apocalyptic," according to a labor and employment attorney who served on a special task force to study the city’s pension situation. [Tampa Bay Times]

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
JUDICIARY | State legislators called for the resignation of Judge Aaron Persky after he handed out a lenient sentence to Brock Turner, the Stanford University swimmer found guilty of raping an unconscious woman. The six-month jail sentence Turner received is far lighter than the six-year prison sentence prosecutors sought, which the Santa Clara County Superior Court judge defended citing the student’s youth and clean record. Millions have already signed a nonbinding petition to recall Persky, while a Stanford law professor is leading an official effort. Members of the State Assembly requested the Commission on Judicial Performance review Persky’s conduct and are pushing for a writ for a new sentence. Impeachment is also an as-yet-unpursued option. [The Sacramento Bee]

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
INTERNET CONNECTIVITY | New York state’s attorney general isn’t happy with New York City’s Time Warner Cable Internet, so his office sent a letter to Tom Rutledge, president and CEO of parent company Charter Communications, requesting he improve the service. Reliability, performance and speed were all on the list of complaints, and the office has been investigating the company for several months for failing to deliver marketed connection speeds. “Not only did Time Warner Cable fail to achieve the speeds its customers were promised and paid for (which Time Warner Cable blamed on the testing method), it generally performed worse in this regard than other New York broadband providers,” wrote the office. [Top Tech News]

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
PROPERTY RIGHTS | North Carolina’s Supreme Court ruled the state effectively took private property when it passed a law restricting what landowners along a proposed highway route could do with their parcels. The Map Act has been used to limit rising property values, making it easier for the Department of Transportation to condemn them. But the Winston-Salem property owners who sued are now entitled to compensation for being left in limbo, the court decided. [The Associated Press via Daily Journal]

LAFAYETTE, INDIANA
MARIJUANA | The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued Tippecanoe County on behalf of Higher Society of Indiana, a group advocating for marijuana legalization. Tippecanoe County rejected Higher Society’s request to hold a rally outside the courthouse, but the ACLU is calling the “closed forum” policy unconstitutional. County commissioners said they were already mulling changing the policy. [The Associated Press via South Bend Tribune]

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