Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Mayors on Gulf Coast agree climate change affecting hurricanes … St. Paul, Minnesota move on basic income proposal … Louisville city council passes “no confidence” measure about mayor.
While California recently announced a new contract to double the state’s coronavirus testing capacity, school systems are still unclear about the extent to which they should incorporate testing into plans to reopen for in-person school. In Los Angeles County, the largest district, Los Angeles Unified, is planning to require testing all students and teachers before they would be allowed into classroom settings. After this initial test for the virus that causes Covid-19, there will be other, periodic testing, the district has said. The Solana Beach School District is planning to spend between $500,000 and $2 million on re-entry testing and testing throughout the year. UC San Diego Health will handle the testing for the district and university labs are also getting involved in other California districts’ reopening plans. Stanford Health Care, which is helping with Bay Area school systems’ plans, said they will use pooled testing to more quickly process results. “What I’m surprised by is how many logistical hurdles schools have to go through to get testing,” said Dr. Christina Kong, medical director of pathology at Stanford Health Care. “I didn’t think it would be this complicated.” [CalMatters; Los Angeles Times; Del Mar Times]
CLIMATE CHANGE | The Gulf Coast is getting hammered by hurricanes this season, with a tropical storm currently projected to hit Texas by Monday night, and many mayors, including Republicans, agree that climate change is part of the picture. But they aren’t sure what that should mean for public policy. Mayor Billy Hewes in Gulfport, Mississippi told The Washington Post that his area, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, has experienced a higher intensity of storms than before. “Most of us are more interested in dealing with the pragmatic side,” the Republican mayor added. “The climate change discussion does not drive a lot of what we do.” [Washington Post]
BASIC INCOME | The city council in St. Paul, Minnesota, voted unanimously to move forward with a proposal from Mayor Melvin Carter to run a guaranteed basic income demonstration project. The project will be funded by $300,000 in federal CARES Act money. One hundred and fifty low-income families affected by the coronavirus pandemic will receive $500 monthly payments. [Pioneer Press]
GUN VIOLENCE | The Philadelphia City Council approved a resolution urging Mayor Jim Kenney to declare gun violence a citywide emergency. "We are calling on Mayor Kenney to lead a coordinated effort that treats this deadly epidemic—which is traumatizing Black and Brown communities across Philadelphia—with the urgency it deserves,” said Councilmember Jamie Gauthier. [FOX 29]
NO CONFIDENCE | The city council in Louisville, Kentucky established a vote of “no confidence” against Mayor Greg Fischer over his handling of the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor and the protests afterwards. The resolution does not ask Fischer to resign, but says that the council believes he “failed to hold leadership of the Louisville Metro Police Department (“LMPD”) properly accountable.” [NBC News]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor for Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is assistant editor.