‘If You Elect to Be on the Roads, You Must Make Good Choices’

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Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Florida governor’s teacher bonus proposal … Louisville pension worries … and Pittsburgh’s mayor has an evening hobby.

Good morning, it’s Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Winter weather leads Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup but scroll down for more from places like Fort Wayne, Indiana;  Tallahassee, Florida; and Clark County, WashingtonALSO IN ROUTE FIFTYUsing Nudges and Shoves to Encourage Better Transportation ChoicesState and Local Lawmakers Pitch How to Pay for a Big  Infrastructure PackageNew Accounting Standards Could Disrupt Access to Financing 

Let’s get to it …

PUBLIC WORKS | Ice storms and major snowfall in the Midwest has prompted state and local officials to urge people to avoid driving if at all possible in many areas. In Madison, Wisconsin, Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines wrote in an snow-plowing update:

Many streets in Madison will be ice-covered and very slippery, especially residential areas. Plus, as the evening wears on temperatures are expected to plummet below the threshold of salt's effectiveness at the Streets Division's application rate. Therefore, treating any slippery patches that may re-develop on main streets will be restricted to sand until temperatures rebound above 20 degrees.  

If you elect to be on the roads, you must make good choices. Allow for plenty of extra travel time so you can arrive at your destinations safely. Allow for plenty of extra stopping space in case your vehicle skids at intersections. And, as always in difficult winter weather, be slow, be patient, and be alert.

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, Michigan warned of difficult driving conditions, including high winds, blowing snow and white-out conditions in parts of western and northern Lower Peninsula. Meanwhile in the Pacific Northwest, many lowland areas unaccustomed to snowfall, including Seattle and Portland and other cities along Interstate 5, will be seeing a winter storm moving in Friday and disrupting travel across the region this weekend.

[City of Madison; @NWSGrandRapids; @wsdot]

GOVERNORS | As calls for his resignation continue to mount, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam might end up hanging on and "last another three years.” [The New York Times] … Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf makes the case for broadband expansion statewide. [WFMZ] … Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin delivered his State of the Commonwealth Address on Thursday. [WKYT] … Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to give $9,000 bonuses to 45,000 teachers. [WESH]

CITY HALLS | The National Association of Clean Water Agencies honored Fort Wayne, Indiana Mayor Tom Henry with the 2019 National Environmental Achievement Award for Local Public Service for protecting water resources and cleaning local rivers. [WANE] … Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has “an evening hobby of sorts verbally sparring on Twitter—his way of ‘just trying to keep a conversation going.’” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] … “Three lawsuits in two weeks.” Huntington Beach, California and the state sue each other over affordable housing. [OC Register]  

PUBLIC HEALTH | The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a Louisiana state law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges, but the legal battle over admitting privileges is “likely far from over.” [The Advocate] … The number of confirmed measles cases linked to the outbreak in Clark County, Washington since Jan. 1 now stands at 51, with 13 suspected cases. [Clark County WA]

PENSIONS | In Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fischer is warning that public pension costs are putting increasing pressure on the city and that “[w]ithout new revenue, the city could be forced to layoff employees in nearly every department, including police, fire and EMS.” [WLKY]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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