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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Kansas City considers workaround for anti-panhandling ordinance … N.J. beach community wants governor to give up official summer house … and N.D.’s IT consolidation.
Good morning, it’s Monday, Aug. 26, 2018. Airbnb leads Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup, but scroll down for more stories from places like Grand Junction, Colorado; Berkeley Township, New Jersey; and Bismarck, North Dakota.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | Airbnb filed a lawsuit against New York City on Friday challenging the constitutionality of recently approved local legislation that cracks down on short-term rental companies. The new rules, which require companies like Airbnb to disclose the information about hosts, are "extraordinary act of government overreach" and violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, according to the lawsuit. [Gothamist]
- Kansas City, Missouri: A proposed ordinance under consideration by the Kansas City Council doesn’t necessarily prohibit panhandling—such rules have been challenged in other cities on free speech grounds—but would make panhandling more difficult by saying that “pedestrians can be on a median, traffic island or a non-sidewalk area near a highway ramp only as long as it takes to cross safely.” [The Kansas City Star]
- Grand Junction, Colorado: City officials recently approved a long-range transportation planning document which lays out a vision of an expanded trail network using 24 miles of land adjacent to area irrigation canals, something that irrigation companies oppose. [Daily Sentinel]
- Santa Monica, California: This progressive seaside city has been defending its at-large city council system in court, “the latest of many legal challenges to local governments under the California Voting Rights Act, a 2002 law that makes it easier to overturn at-large voting.” [CALmatters]
- Berkeley Township, New Jersey: Local council members recently approved a resolution calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to sell the state’s official beach house for its governors, saying there’s “a better use of the property than its current use." [NJ.com]
STATE GOVERNMENT | West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has appointed State House Speaker Tim Armstead and U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins to fill two state Supreme Court vacancies, the latest development in an ongoing “controversy that has surrounded the state’s high court, leading to impeachments, resignations and federal charges.” [West Virginia Public Broadcasting]
- Raleigh, North Carolina: The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly on Friday passed legislation that changes that language in proposed constitutional amendments to diminish some of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s powers to appoint board and commission members. The original proposals were blocked by a judge. [@NCCapitol / WRAL]
- Bismarck, North Dakota: The North Dakota Information Technology Department is 13 months into a larger state government IT consolidation effort that aims to streamline more than 800 legacy IT systems and 160 websites. [The Bismarck Tribune]
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana: In the Louisiana State Police, which has faced criticism for its lack of diversity, “[a]ll 10 State Police majors—and all nine of the agency's troop commanders around the state—are white men. Of the agency's 22 captains, only three are black and one is female.” [The Advocate]
- Augusta, Georgia: A proposal to rename the John C. Calhoun Expressway, which honors “a notorious racist and pro-slavery advocate” from the 19th century, likely faces an uphill battle in the Georgia state legislature. [Augusta Chronicle]
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Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.