A June survey by the National Park and Recreation Association found that a majority of Americans consider parks an essential government service, but decreased revenue from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to threaten parks funding in the future.
Some states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania, prohibit processing absentee ballots until Election Day. Right now, leaders are considering changing that to avoid long delays about the results of the November election.
Facing reduced tax revenues and dealing with new challenges, local government officials in a new survey by ELGL, the Atlas and SeeClickFix reflect on staff morale and potential government cutbacks, as well as the technology that is helping them navigate this time.
Even as Florida's population grew over the last decade, Florida slashed the funding of local health departments, leaving them with less staff to respond to the pandemic. And some were then told not to speak.
By Laura Ungar, Hannah Recht and Jason Dearen, Kaiser Health News
COMMENTARY | An analysis of Twitter posts to score people's "happiness" shows that the national mood is at its lowest point since the start of the project in 2008. But posts about park visits show they combat this malaise.
By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts, The Conversation
Testing wastewater samples can give public health officials a heads up that an outbreak is looming, as people infected with SARS-Cov-2 shed the virus in their feces weeks before they begin showing symptoms.
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Rental mopeds pulled out of NYC after fatal crashes … Tennessee governor disagrees with White House aide on closing bars … Police in New Jersey break up 700-person house party.
Students at Dominican University in San Rafael, California, can learn to be contact tracers and get on-the-job training in pandemic response with the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.
Increased costs related to the Covid-19 response coupled with decreasing revenues have counties bracing for a budget shortfall through at least the next fiscal year, according to a survey by the National Association of Counties.
States and local governments have embraced “performance contracts,” requiring contractors to meet certain objectives. Too often, however, they don’t actually check on the success in meeting these goals.
Early hot spots have been eclipsed by new regions in crisis. Now that so much of Texas is battling major coronavirus outbreaks, some severely ill patients have to travel long distances to receive the care they need.
By Emma Platoff, Edgar Walters, Sarah R. Champagne and Mandi Cai, The Texas Tribune
Monitoring and controlling mosquitoes is a key local government function. But as strapped health departments focus all of their energies on the coronavirus, they are forced to neglect combatting the disease-carrying insects.
By Anna Maria Barry-Jester and Lauren Weber, Kaiser Health News
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Florida coronavirus cases top one-day high for a single state … Seattle City Council majority pledges to support 50% cut to police department … South Carolina county could report 4,000 missing school Chromebooks to police.