Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Albuquerque mayor goes undercover ... Mass. city’s missing parking meter money … and Neb. uses fentanyl in an execution.
Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. It’s also #CityHallSelfieDay for those who are observing this unofficial ELGL-organized holiday that puts municipal seats of government and the people that power them in the spotlight. A scooter debate in Santa Monica, California leads Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup, but scroll down for more stories from places like Revere, Massachusetts; Tallahassee, Florida; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | Bird and Lime pulled their e-scooters from the streets of Santa Monica, California on Tuesday as part of their “Day Without Scooters” protest of a City Council committee’s recommendation that two competitors, Lyft and Uber-owned Jump, be awarded contracts for the city’s e-scooter pilot program. Bird and Lime rallied their users to voice their discontent at a City Council meeting on Tuesday evening. [Santa Monica Daily Press; Los Angeles Times]
- Albuquerque, New Mexico: Mayor Tim Keller and the city’s chief administrative officer went undercover with Albuquerque police on Saturday night along Central Avenue to better understand crime and safety issues downtown. [KOB]
- Kansas City, Missouri: At a meeting on Wednesday, the Kansas City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee will weigh a proposed ballot initiative that would authorize a special city sales tax to fund improved access to pre-kindergarten. [KCUR]
- San Diego, California: A tentative ruling from a San Diego Superior Court judge has removed a legal obstacle that has blocked progress on the planned $80 million renovation of Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama. [San Diego Union Tribune]
- Fort Worth, Texas: The Tarrant County commissioners approved a measure on Tuesday that authorizes a bond election that would raise $800 million for the Tarrant County Hospital District. [Community Impact Newspaper]
- Revere, Massachusetts: The city is investigating “tens of thousands”—and possibly upwards of $100,000—in parking meter money that’s missing. [WFXT]
STATE GOVERNMENT | At DEFCON in Las Vegas last week, “eleven-year-old Emmett Brewer hacked into a replica of Florida's state election site and changed the voting results” in less than 10 minutes. But a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State said: “It is not a real-life scenario, and it offers a wholly inaccurate representation of the security of Florida’s elections websites, online databases and voting systems.” [BoingBoing; Sun Sentinel]
- Lincoln, Nebraska: Corrections officials in Nebraska on Tuesday became the first in the nation to use fentanyl, the powerful and dangerous opioid, in a lethal-injection execution. It was the state’s first execution in 21 years. [Omaha World-Herald; NBC News]
- Austin, Texas: A retiring Republican member of the Texas House has decried a June directive issued by Gov. Greg Abbott, which requires state agencies to send new rules to the governor’s office before they’re published, saying that Abbott’s order may be an unconstitutional power grab. [Texas Tribune]
- Tallahassee, Florida: Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing toxic red tide algae bloom crisis that’s fouled beaches and coastal waters off Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. [Office of Gov. Rick Scott; Orlando Sentinel]
- Chicago, Illinois: State Attorney General Lisa Madigan has sued the Trump International Hotel and Tower, which uses Chicago River water for cooling, for “failing to meet several requirements in a state permit intended to limit the number of fish pinned against intake screens or killed by sudden changes in pressure and temperature.” [Chicago Tribune]
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana: The harvest of the first crop of medical marijuana in Louisiana is expected to be delayed until late October or early November. [Baton Rouge Business Report]
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Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.