Survey: Philly soda tax has caused revenue loss at 88% of businesses | Supreme Court takes case on US access to data on foreign servers | Pa. governor turns to liquor sales to balance budget
October 18, 2017
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Survey: Philly soda tax has caused revenue loss at 88% of businesses
Eighty-eight percent of respondents in a recent survey of Philadelphia businesses said they have lost revenue following the Jan. 1 introduction of a tax on sweetened beverages. "This administration has minimized and ridiculed the idea that businesses are fighting for survival," said City Controller Alan Butkovitz, who released the survey results.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (10/16) 
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Federal, State & Local Update
Supreme Court takes case on US access to data on foreign servers
The Supreme Court will take up a case over whether US law enforcement agencies with warrants from federal judges can require tech firms in the US to give them data stored on computers in other countries. A lower court ruled that US warrants can't be used to force the release of data stored on foreign servers.
Ars Technica (10/16) 
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Pa. governor turns to liquor sales to balance budget
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered the state's Liquor Control Board to borrow $1.25 billion against future sales to balance the state's budget after the legislature declined to act. Some lawmakers object to borrowing with interest and pledging future sales revenue to pay off the debt.
The Meadville (Pa.) Tribune/CNHI News Service (10/16) 
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Ga. State Parks kicks off Leaf Watch 2017
Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites Division has begun Leaf Watch 2017, which helps residents track changing fall leaf colors throughout the state. The online resource includes information on mountain cabins and campsites, hiking safety and fall events.
Rome News-Tribune (Ga.) (10/15) 
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Transportation & Public Works
Texas toll authority worked "day and night" to repair sinkhole on tollway
On Sept. 7, a giant sinkhole was discovered on the Sam Houston Tollway, and the Harris County Toll Road Authority was asked to mobilize a crew to repair it. Crews worked night and day to excavate a 650-foot section of the road and replace the base and pavement, and all lanes are now open.
Equipment World (10/17) 
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$5.2B plan unveiled to improve Nashville's public transit system
Nashville, Tenn., Mayor Megan Barry released a $5.2 billion plan to improve the city's public transportation infrastructure that includes tax increases. Called Let's Move Nashville, the plan calls for a light rail line, bus rapid transit and electric buses.
WKRN-TV (Nashville, Tenn.) (10/17),  The Washington Times/The Associated Press (10/17) 
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Health, Education & Human Services
Dept. of Education sued over student-loan rule
Dept. of Education sued over student-loan rule
DeVos (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Officials in 17 states and Washington, D.C., are suing the US Department of Education, saying the department is failing to protect student-loan borrowers. At issue is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' decision to freeze the Gainful Employment rule.
The Associated Press (10/17) 
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Senators reach bipartisan agreement to stabilize ACA markets
Senators reach bipartisan agreement to stabilize ACA markets
Murray and Alexander (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced a deal to stabilize the individual insurance market by funding cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019, giving states more flexibility to skirt certain Affordable Care Act requirements, allowing consumers over age 30 to purchase copper plans, and providing $106 million to support ACA enrollment. However, the proposal garnered mixed messages from President Donald Trump, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not said whether he will allow a vote, and some Republicans said they oppose it.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/17),  Politico (10/17),  Healthcare Finance News (10/17) 
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Leadership, Management & Ethics
Commentary: Agencies should reward performance, not seniority
Government agencies should implement systems that reward high-performing employees rather than those who have simply put in the most time, consultant Howard Risher writes. Management policies that fail to encourage high performance make it more difficult for agencies to attract and retain top talent, he says.
Government Executive (10/17) 
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Stuck with a bad boss? It's time to lead up
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be led competently, but the ideal response to such a situation is not criticism but "trying to help them overcome their faults and limitations," Steve Keating writes. Doing so means you won't always get the credit you deserve, but "are you leading to lead or are you leading for some type of personal glory?" he writes.
LeadToday blog (10/12) 
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Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood. ... Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.
Daniel Burnham,
architect and urban designer
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