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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Maui may boost Airbnb fines in a big way … feds audit Ohio Medicaid program … and Boston sees an increase in shootings.
Good morning, it’s Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers annual conference wrapped up in San Diego on Wednesday—check out our complete coverage and stay tuned for more in the coming days. … Leading Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup is some legal action in New York state that was mostly overshadowed by Wednesday pipe bomb package that arrived at CNN and at the homes of prominent Democratic politicians. But scroll down for more from places like Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (which got nailed by a super typhoon) ... Columbus, Ohio (where state officials are disagreeing with a federal audit on Medicaid spending) … and Phoenix, Arizona (were states can apply to transform treated waste into drinking water).
CLIMATE CHANGE | New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Wednesday that the state would sue ExxonMobil for misleading investors about the risks of climate change. [MarketWatch; @NewYorkStateAG]
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | Super Typhoon Yutu tore through the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, including Saipan and Tinian, on Wednesday and packed a punch as one of the strongest tropical systems to strike the U.S. territory. The islands saw 180 mph winds and gusts of 200 mph. The Joint Information Center on Guam has asked residents to “limit the use of communication between Guam and CNMI unless it is an emergency.” [The Washington Post; Guam Daily Post]
AUDITS | A federal audit from the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the Inspector General found that Ohio’s Medicaid program “owes $38 million to the federal government for payments it made on behalf of patients who had died,” something that state Medicaid officials deny. [Cleveland.com]
LAW ENFORCEMENT | Crime data from the Boston Police Department shows that there’s been a 20-percent increase in fatal shootings in the city, something that “frustrates but does not surprise community leaders.” [MassLive]
EQUITY | Among the proposals from St. Paul, Minnesota Mayor Melvin Carter, the mayor wants to create an Office of Financial Empowerment. [Pioneer Press / TwinCities.com]
SHORT-TERM RENTALS | Voters in Maui County, Hawaii are considering a ballot initiative that would allow local authorities to significantly increase fines for unauthorized vacation rentals. [Honolulu Civil Beat]
PUBLIC HEALTH | The Kaiser Family Foundation has released its 50-state Medicaid Budget Survey for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years. [Kaiser Family Foundation] … The Rhode Island Public Transit Agency will be testing three emission-free buses in areas of the Ocean State where asthma rate is the highest. [The Public’s Radio]
WATER | New state law in Arizona allows cities to apply to use treated wastewater as drinking water but none have applied yet. [The Arizona Republic / AZCentral]
MARIJUANA | Support for legalizing recreational marijuana in Wyoming is gaining new support in a new poll from the University of Wyoming’s Survey and Analysis Center—nearly half of respondents said they’d support legalization. [Casper Star-Tribune]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.
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