Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | A couple states report surprisingly good tax receipts in July … Tennessee governor OKs resumption of high school football … Florida marks 5,000 Burmese pythons removed from Everglades.
Some of the federal law enforcement officers who have clashed with protesters in recent days will leave Portland on Thursday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday. Brown said the state agreed that Oregon State Troopers will help provide protection for the federal courthouse, along with the Federal Protective Service. But the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who have been bolstering the federal effort will leave on Thursday, according to a deal Brown worked out with the Trump administration. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf in his own statement mostly agreed with the governor, but underscored that an “augmented” federal force will remain in Portland “until the violent activity toward our facility ends. We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack.” State and local officials in Oregon have complained that the aggressive tactics used by federal officers have increased tensions with protesters gathering in front of the courthouse to advocate for Black Lives Matter and policing changes. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also announced that federal agents deployed to that city to quell protests left late Tuesday night. "[The Department of Homeland Security] notified me that federal forces deployed to Seattle have demobilized & left," Durkan tweeted. "The President’s actions to target Democratic cities with federal forces is chilling and increased violence in Portland, Seattle & other cities—exactly what the President intended." [Oregonian; OPB; The Hill]
(SOME) BUDGET WOES TURN AROUND | Connecticut’s gloomy predictions for this year’s budget haven’t come true, initial state estimates show. Instead, the state is doing better than expected, with tax receipts at least $200 million higher than projected. Vermont also got unexpectedly good news as people filed their taxes at the delayed July filing deadline. But New York is projecting a $30 billion deficit over the next two years without more aid from the federal government, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. [CT Mirror; VTDigger; New York Now]
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL | Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order allowing high school contact sports like football and soccer to resume in August. The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is currently developing guidelines to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 during the season. [24/7 Sports]
NIGHT VISION | The city council in Omaha, Nebraska approved the purchase of $26,000 worth of night vision equipment for the city’s police department so that they can “better protect and respond to possible threats” in dark conditions. Some members of the public testified that the purchase would further militarize the department. [Omaha World-Herald]
DEPARTMENT OF SNAKES | The state of Florida this week announced a major milestone in the quest to rid the Everglades of invasive Burmese pythons: 5,000 snakes have been removed in three years. [Tampa Bay Times]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.