Here is today’s State & Local news roundup for Wednesday, November 12, 2014 ...
BOISE, Idaho: The Gem State is getting ready to launch its new state-run health care exchange. As Phil Galewitz reports for Kaiser Health News, about 76,000 Idaho residents signed up for private insurance via the federal healthcare.gov website last year, one of the best enrollment rates in the nation. Idaho wasn’t able to get its own Your Health Idaho exchange up and running in time last year and chose to use the federal exchange as an interim step.
BURBANK, California: Here’s an important lesson for any city interested in renaming their local airport in honor of an individual: Make sure you retain some geographic reference point for travelers. Chad Garland of Los Angeles Times reports that Bob Hope Airport, formerly Hollywood Burbank Airport, lives in the shadow other Los Angeles-area airports because some travelers have no idea where Bob Hope Airport is. “Some people seem to think it's in Palm Springs," the airport’s director of contractors and properties tells The Times. The airport has been experiencing a decline in passenger traffic, too and is looking for ways to raise its visibility.
DALLAS, Texas: Underneath Dallas, work crews have been building a massive new pipeline to reroute the city’s sewage under the Trinity River. Roy Appleton of The Dallas Morning News checked out the progress on the new 3,323-foot tunnel that will eventually carry up to 120,000 million gallons of waste to a sewage treatment plant when it opens in 2016.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: Voters in Utah are divided on an idea to privatize state-controlled liquor sales, according to a new UtahPolicy.com poll. Kathy Stephenson of The Salt Lake Tribune reports that 36 percent of respondents think the state’s monopoly on liquor sales should be done away with and transferred to the private sector. Thirty-one percent want the current state system preserved while 27 percent want a hybrid approach. Sentiments generally fell along partisan and religious lines. Sixty-four percent of Democrats want privatization with 40 percent of Republicans wanting full state control to remain.
WILMINGTON, Delaware: Does the council staff in the First State’s most-populated county have an “overall lack of supervision” and “general lack of accountability”? That’s what an outside auditor concluded about the New Castle County Council, according to Adam Taylor of The News Journal. But one councilwoman disputes the audit: "The guy didn't quite get it," Janet Kilpatrick told the newspaper. "The council office is not an office per se. This was a non-governmental audit, as if County Council was a private company."