Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Connecticut committee OKs highway tolls; Hampton Roads a hub for human trafficking; Allentown seeking applications for interim mayor; and Columbus, Ohio’s big growth.
GOVERNORS | Paul LePage of Maine, who is the nation’s worst-paid governor, wants the state legislature to boost the $70,000 annual salary for his successor. The low pay has been a sore spot for LePage, but his previous efforts to get the legislature to increase his pay fell short. LePage thinks the governor’s salary should be $150,000 a year. “The Governor of the State of Maine is the Chief Executive of our state, and the compensation for the office should be competitive to attract the best talent,” LePage said in a statement. “Maine deserves a governor with executive leadership experience who is in the prime of their career. Leaders who would make excellent governors have told me they won’t consider running because of the pay cut. Competitive compensation is good public policy.” The governor’s wife, Ann LePage, made headlines in 2016 when she took a waitressing job in order to pay for a new Toyota Rav4. [Portland Press-Herald; Time]
WEATHER | The atmospheric river that slammed California with major storms this week was not as destructive as earlier winter storms and the worst of the rainfall began to move out of Southern California on Thursday. Evacuation orders in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties were lifted. In Los Angeles County, part of a hillside gave way along La Tuna Canyon Road in an area impacted by a wildfire.
- Allentown, Pennsylvania: With the resignation of Mayor Ed Pawlowski following his conviction a variety of federal public corruption charges, city council members in Pennsylvania’s third most-populous city are “accepting applications from city residents interested in serving as interim mayor” through 4:30 p.m. Friday. Required: “a resume and a statement outlining why they would make a good mayor.” [The Morning Call]
- Hartford, Connecticut: The Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee on Thursday gave the thumbs up to a proposal that would add electronic tolls to Interstates 84, 91 and 95 plus the Merritt Parkway. [Hartford Courant; Connecticut Post]
- Hampton Roads, Virginia: Among the reasons why Southeastern Virginia’s major cities are “hotspot” for human trafficking: “its large military presence, tourism and easy access to major highways, which make transport of victims easier,” according to Dede Wallace, a victim assistance specialist with the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force. [The Virginian-Pilot]
- Wink, Texas: Oil and gas drilling in West Texas has caused the landscape “to buckle even more than previously realized,” according to researchers from Southern Methodist University. [Dallas Morning News]
- Columbus, Ohio: New numbers released by the Census Bureau show that Columbus, which has been Ohio’s most-populous municipality, has edged out Cleveland when it comes to metropolitan population. The 10-county metro area that includes Columbus now has 2,078,725 people, about 20,000 more than Cleveland. Cincinnati, which is Ohio’s third-largest city, part the state’s most populous metro area, which extends into Kentucky and Indiana. [Columbus Dispatch]
- Holly Springs, Georgia: The City Council has approved code changes that create “a downtown entertainment district where alcoholic beverages can be consumed on public property outdoors.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]