Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | W.Va. governor visits his state’s capital city … breaking ground on the Digital Crossroads of America Data Center … and a mayor’s Twitter tattoo bet.
Good morning, it’s Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Leading Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup is security tech news from Los Angeles, but scroll down for more stories from places like Hammond, Indiana; Austin, Texas; and Charleston, West Virginia.
PUBLIC SAFETY | The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday that they’ve partnered to test millimeter wave scanners that will be used to screen passengers for suspicious objects, like weapons and suicide vests. L.A. Metro will be the first U.S. transit agency to deploy such scanners. Unlike an airport security checkpoint where people are usually screened one by one, the Thruvision scanning technology that will be used in the L.A. Metro Rail system doesn’t require people to queue up. [National Public Radio; Mashable]
- Orlando, Florida: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is feuding with Sheriff Jerry Demings “over the sensitive issue of school safety and why there isn’t enough manpower to provide one law officer full time at every school in unincorporated parts of the county.” [Orlando Sentinel]
- Indianapolis, Indiana: The City-County Council passed a non-binding resolution on Monday that recognizes that gun violence is a public health issue. [Indiana Public Media]
- Portland, Oregon: Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said in a recent radio interview that the controversial clearing of an anti-ICE encampment in Portland was her idea: "I wasn't asking for permission to go out and clear this camp. I said, 'This is what's going to happen and here's how it's going to happen.' And again, I got the support to do that" from Mayor Ted Wheeler. [Portland Tribune]
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | As the agricultural sector in Nebraska and other states nervously monitors U.S. trade tensions with China, there’s a lot economically at stake with tariffs. In Nebraska, China “accounts for roughly $1.43 billion in ag purchases, according to 2018 Nebraska Department of Agriculture numbers.” And that’s not all. China is “the top importer of Nebraska soybeans and the sixth largest market for beef.” [Norfolk Daily News]
- Hammond, Indiana: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. on Wednesday broke ground on the Digital Crossroads of America Data Center. [Portage Life]
- Albany, New York: The Citizens Budget Commission wants Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto 10 economic development bills. [Glen Falls Post-Star]
STATE GOVERNMENT | After facing criticism for remarks he made on a conservative radio station where he compared state workers opposing pension reform to drowning victims, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said Wednesday that county governments will be financially “screwed” if the state Supreme Court ends up blocking a new pension law the governor championed. [The New York Times; WKYT]
- Charleston, West Virginia: Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously been criticized for not living in West Virginia’s capital city and his preference for telecommuting, “caught most of us by surprise with at least three days worth of visits to the state Capitol” last week. [The Dominion-Post]
- Biloxi, Mississippi: Seventeen former state workers are “accused of embezzling money or property, misappropriating funds or misusing government funds” and collectively owe the state tens of thousands of dollars. [Sun Herald]
- Suffolk County, New York: The state of New York on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma in the latest legal action related to the opioid abuse crisis. [Law.com]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | City Council members in Austin, Texas approved a deal Wednesday that will bring a Major League Soccer team to a $200 million stadium on a 24-acre city-owned site in North Austin. But that’s bad news for soccer fans in Ohio, who are set to lose the Columbus Crew SC. [Austin American-Statesman; ESPN]
- Santa Monica, California: City Council members approved an ordinance Tuesday that bans all single-use plastics in the food and beverage industry. [LAist]
- Anchorage, Alaska: More cities in Alaska are pursuing bans on single-use plastic shopping bags and Anchorage might be next. [Route Fifty]
- Hubbard, Ohio: This city northeast of Youngstown was one of three in Ohio to receive an Award of DIstinction from the state auditor’s office for having a clean audit report with no significant deficiencies. [The Vindicator]
- San José, California: If Mayor Sam Liccardo gets 1 million retweets, he’ll get a tattoo of the city’s logo. [KGO]
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Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.