Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | A judge sides with California in lawsuit about new gig worker law … New York lawmakers to probe storm power outages … Texas AG says state legislature likely needs to decide about moving a statue of a former Texas A&M University president and Confederate general.
Chicago leaders condemned widespread looting in the downtown area of the city on Sunday, which followed a police shooting on the city’s south side. Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday called the looting and vandalism along the Magnificent Mile “brazen and extensive criminal destruction,” while police reported that more than 100 people were arrested. At the same time, Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker rejected calls for members of the National Guard to patrol the city. “What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple,” Lightfoot said. “And there cannot be any excuse for it. Period.” Police said the looting was sparked by a social media disinformation campaign that wrongly declared that the person who was shot by an officer was a 15-year-old boy. Police said the person who was injured in the shooting was a 20-year-old man who first shot at police. The department said it is looking for surveillance video to support its account, as body camera footage is not available. Two people—a security guard and a civilian—also were shot and injured during the looting, while 13 police officers were injured. Some community activists, who denounced the looting, also said it reflected a failure by city leaders to invest in Black neighborhoods—even after protests that devolved into looting in May, following the death of George Floyd. “The city didn’t move forward anything new since George Floyd as far as any new programming, new restructuring of resources, any ways that they were going to get better as a city so this wouldn’t happen again,” said activist Ja’Mal Green. [Chicago Tribune; Chicago Sun Times; Associated Press]
CALIFORNIA CONTRACTORS | A judge on Monday ordered Lyft and Uber to make their California drivers into full employees instead of contractors, saying the companies need to comply with a new state employment law. The decision to grant the preliminary injunction is sure to be appealed. [Bloomberg]
LOST POWER | Many New Yorkers lost power after Tropical Storm Isaias made landfall last week. Now, utility companies including Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas and Electric, and PSEG have been asked to testify in front of the state legislature about their response to the storm. “These hearings are a great vehicle to find out what went wrong, and what we can do so we don’t keep reliving this nightmare over and over,” State Sen. Todd Kaminsky said. [FOX 5]
STATUE REMOVAL | A statue of Confederate general and former Texas A&M University president Lawrence Sullivan Ross can only come down with the permission of the Texas state legislature, according to a new opinion from state Attorney General Ken Paxton. The university had recently formed a Commission on Historic Representation to review statues and monuments on campus. [KBTX]
CORONAVIRUS TESTS | Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive for the coronavirus last week, then later tested negative twice. He said on Sunday his results should not be a reason for people to say “that testing is not reliable or doesn’t work.” [New York Times]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.
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