State and Local Government

News & Analysis as of

Surge in FOIA Requests to State Agencies Seeking Information About PE and Other Alternative Investment Fund Sponsors

We have recently observed a surge in freedom-of-information (“FOIA”) requests made by media outlets to state pension funds and other state-government-affiliated investment entities. Although the requests have so far...more

Groundwater Basin Boundaries and Priorities Will Impose New Management Challenges on Local Agencies

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires that the Department of Water Resources categorize each of California’s 515 alluvial groundwater basins and subbasins as high, medium, low, or...more

Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair...more

New District of Columbia Law Greatly Expands Remedies for Wage Law Violations and Places New Notice Requirements on Employers

On September 19, 2014, Mayor Vincent C. Gray signed the “Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014” (“Act”) (D.C. Act 20-426). The Act generally broadens the coverage of, and expands the notice requirements, means of...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - California becomes first state to ban plastic bags: SFGate.com - Sep 30: Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that makes California the first state in the nation to ban single-use...more

From Second and State: Legislative Preview for the Week of October 2014

Both the House and Senate will return to Harrisburg this week for the first of two weeks of voting session in the month of October. They won’t return until after November’s election, when they’ll be back for one scheduled day...more

Major Step Forward for California Design-Build: SB 785 Signed September 30, 2014

With the enactment of Senate Bill 785, the State of California has taken a major step forward in authorizing state and local agencies to use design-build. Although many California agencies have the ability to use...more

CT Law of the Land

In response to an act of illegal clear-cutting of roughly three acres of a Connecticut state forest, the offending company and the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) entered into a...more

2014 Connecticut Legislative Summary - September 2014

The 2014 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly closed with only a few new laws on the books that will affect the design and construction industry. The summaries below highlight the most significant of these....more

Legislation Reforms California’s Insurance Community Investment Program

On September 17, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation intended to reform the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) program. The COIN program is a partnership among the California Department of...more

New Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law for California (aka: Take Two Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning)

On September 10, 2014, California became the second state in the nation to require private sector employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. ...more

Florida Regulator Promises Revision of Investment Adviser Rules – New Industry Group Forms

Officials from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (“OFR”) met with representatives of the securities industry last month to discuss reform of regulations applicable to state-covered investment advisers. ...more

State Controller Rolls Out an Open Data Website on Local Government Finances

New Website Promotes Government Transparency - In a major move to enhance government transparency, State Controller John Chiang rolled out a new open data website last week that lists more than 13 million fields of...more

Discussion: How Should Cities Address Emerging Technologies Such as Uber & Lyft, Airbnb, Drones, e-Cigarettes and More?

New technologies are constantly emerging and creating novel issues, and opportunities, for local governments. These technologies come in many forms and service various markets, often threatening to disrupt the status quo and...more

Editorial: Drowning in Place: Local Government Costs and Liabilities for Flooding Due to Sea-level Rise

Many areas of Florida are experiencing increased tidal flooding due to sea-level rise (SLR). Florida has experienced eight to nine inches of SLR over the past 100 years. The roughly four and one-half inches of rise in the...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: September 12, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions Friday morning. After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term resulted in two both...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly adjourned “sine die” on Wednesday, August 20. During the interim, the MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed biweekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative...more

Public Officials and Agencies: To Campaign or Not to Campaign?

California law allows public agencies to expend public money and resources to educate voters on matters included on an upcoming election ballot. State law does not permit using public money or resources to advocate on behalf...more

Sine Die Die Die!

Sine Die, folks! The North Carolina General Assembly has adjourned until a new legislature convenes January 14, 2015 with the members elected this November....more

Alert: Policy Revisions Due to New Laws

This Alert is intended to give a general explanation of 2014 legislative enactments of the Connecticut General Assembly that may impact your board of education policies. For more detailed and individualized assistance with...more

CPUC Review of Comcast-TWC Merger Gives Cities & Schools Opportunity to Improve Broadband Services

The California Public Utilities Commission has decided to focus on the cost and availability of broadband services in its review of the proposed merger between the two largest cable and broadband providers in the state:...more

Pennsylvania Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update: August 2014

This is a brief update on recent Pennsylvania tax developments. FY15 Budget Enacted—Includes Little Tax Reform Earlier this summer, Governor Corbett signed into law the fiscal year July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015...more

Weekly Update from the NC State House - August 2014: After an unusually lengthy short session that started May 14th, lawmakers...

And The Gavel Drops! - After an unusually lengthy short session that started May 14th, lawmakers finally agreed on Wednesday August 20th to adjourn sine die, and conclude the business of the 2013-14 General Assembly. ...more

Governments May Be Exempt From ERISA, But They Are Not Exempt From Securities Laws

ERISA lawyers know that employee benefit plans offered by state and local governments to their employees are not subject to ERISA, the federal law that generally governs benefit plans of private employers. However, other...more

The Empire State Strikes Back: New York Proposes Rules for Virtual Currency

The New York State Department of Financial Services (the “Department”) recently published its proposed rules and regulations (the “Proposed Rules”) for vendors conducting business involving virtual currency. The Proposed...more

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