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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Oakland teachers strike continues … boosting teacher pay in Texas … and Florida mayor ‘socialized with people of dubious repute.’
Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Chicago’s mayor election leads Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup but scroll down for more from places like Falmouth, Massachusetts; Madison, Wisconsin; and Salt Lake City, Utah … ALSO ON ROUTE FIFTY … NAACP to Call for Congressional Hearings on Domestic Terrorism … Call of the Wild: More States Are Embracing Outdoor Recreation … Trump on Elusive Infrastructure Legislation: ‘I Want to Sign. I Am Totally Ready.’ … and 8 Things Governments Can Do to Use Disruptive Technology Better ...Let’s get to it …
CITY HALLS | It’s Election Day in Chicago, where a multitude of candidates are vying to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who isn’t running for re-election. Elections officials have a “nightmare scenario” they’re worrying about: If there’s no clear winner amid a crowded field and residents “are stuck with days of recounts and uncertainty about which two candidates are advancing to the April 2 runoff election.” [WBEZ] … Town officials in Falmouth, Massachusetts have removed a contracted snowplow driver after allegations emerged that he intentionally splashed anti-Trump protesters with snow and slush. [Boston.com] … Few people in Port Richey, Florida are surprised by the “spectacular crash and burn” of Mayor Dale Massad, who recently shot at police officers raiding his one. “He enjoyed intoxicants. He owned guns. He socialized with people of dubious repute,” writes The Tampa Bay Times, which notes that “Massad’s public service was noteworthy mostly for its cronyism.” [Tampa Bay Times]
GOVERNORS | North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper delivered his State of the State address on Monday night before the General Assembly, saying he’s “determined” to increase teacher pay, expand Medicaid, expand rural broadband, a statewide bond for school construction and free community college. [@NCCapitol / WRAL] … A group of 18 governors on Monday announced the launch of a new initiative, in partnership with the SANS Institute, to encourage young women to pursue careers in cybersecurity. That includes Delaware Gov. John Carney, who said in a statement, “We know that women are underrepresented in STEM fields and we must empower our young women through creative initiatives like Girls Go CyberStart. We are excited to again be partnering with the SANS Institute and we want to encourage our young women in high school to take advantage of this opportunity to explore career options in this vital field.” [PR Newswire; Delaware.gov] … New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has OK’d a “Red Flag” bill designed to prevent “individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others” of purchasing firearms. [WKBW] … Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has recalled about 112 Wisconsin National soldiers and airmen from the U.S.-Mexico border where they’ve been assisting with security. "There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention that there exists a national security crisis at our southwestern border," he said in a statement. [Wisconsin State Journal / Madison.com] ...
PUBLIC SAFETY | Utah House lawmakers “took two unusual turns with proposed traffic laws” on Monday squashing a bill that would ban the use of handheld cellphones while driving while giving the green light to allow motorists to run red lights in some circumstances. [Salt Lake Tribune] … City Council members in Greenville, South Carolina on Monday approved a plan to spend around $575,000 on new public safety radios for firefighters to replace radios that are 15 years old. [WSPA]
WORKFORCE | Contract negotiations resumed on Monday in Oakland, California where teachers have been on strike. State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has stepped in to help mediate a resolution but says he won’t hesitate to reject any agreement that the city can’t afford. [San Francisco Chronicle; East Bay Times] … The Texas Senate Finance Committee is advancing a bill that would give full-time teachers $5,000 raises. [Texas Tribune] ...
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency continues to compile damage reports from 30 counties after recent tornadoes and ongoing flooding. Thus far, at least 300 homes, 190 roads and bridges and 30 businesses have been impacted. [WDAM] … Flooding continues on many rivers elsewhere in the region, including in Alabama where flood warnings are in effect for the Coosa, Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers. [AL.com] In western Kentucky, the Jackson Purchase Energy Corp. has been shutting off electricity to homes that are flooding. [WPSD]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.
NEXT STORY: Call of the Wild: More States Are Embracing Outdoor Recreation