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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Jack Craver

Travis County bush

County leaders champion no-cash bail

Amidst an aggressive push from activists to reduce arrests and incarceration, Travis County leaders highlighted two important initiatives Tuesday as evidence that the county is a leader in progressive criminal justice policy. First, the Travis County Commissioners Court quickly approved…

Babies, immigrants fueling Travis County growth

Contrary to public perception, Travis County’s population would be booming even without newcomers from California. That was one of the main takeaways from a presentation to the Travis County Commissioners Court on the most recent population data from the American…

New nonprofit seeks to boost census participation

With six weeks until the 2020 census kicks off, the local effort to boost participation hopes to raise additional money for outreach efforts. Census Program Manager John Lawler, who is overseeing the Austin/Travis County Complete Count Committee, which both the…

Travis County confronts tricky process in reforming pay for law enforcement

Travis County leaders are determined to reform the pay scale for the county’s 1,450 public safety employees, but they’re not quite sure how to do it. The county has long had separate pay scales for civilian employees and law enforcement…

Featured Collection: Austin Energy 2022 rate case

Austin Energy ramps up outreach for proposed rate changes

Austin Energy has entered the public hearing phase of its base rate review process, following its proposal to raise service costs. The monthslong dialogue with stakeholders and city staff, slated for resolution by City Council in November, has surfaced predictable…

County puts more money into Manor ride-hailing program

In response to higher-than-expected ridership, Travis County is putting more money into a six-month-old ride-hailing program in Manor. The Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to authorize up to $25,000 to help purchase a third bus for the Manor Pickup service, which…

Travis County takes action to eliminate 'water colonias'

While it’s accurately referred to as an urban county, roughly half of Travis County does not fall within the limits of any municipality. The population in these rural, unincorporated areas is growing rapidly, driven in part by a lack of…

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County sets up new committee to put pressure on city leaders over Expo Center

Travis County leaders want to put pressure on the city of Austin to help them rebuild the aging exposition center. On Tuesday the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to set up a nine-member committee tasked with “engaging and educating Travis County…

County Judge Sarah Eckhardt sees a future of tough decisions and tax referendums for Travis County

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt has plenty of good news to report as she looks back on 2019. Her greatest achievement is the county’s new public defender’s office, for which she was the lead champion on the Commissioners Court. While…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

After quarter-century on court, Gómez sees pros and cons in change

Margaret Gómez has served on the Travis County Commissioners Court for 24 years, representing a precinct whose boundaries roughly correspond with the southeastern quadrant of the county, including nearly all of South Austin east of South Lamar Boulevard. Her career…

Gerald Daugherty, Travis County's last Republican, fears for county's fiscal future

Gerald Daugherty has long said that this would probably be his last term in office. However, for a couple of days at the beginning of December, there were whispers that the Commissioners Court’s lone Republican might try for another four-year…

Jeff Travillion says it's time to pay attention to eastern Travis County

Jeff Travillion believes it’s time for the east side to get some love from local leaders. While private dollars are transforming the look and feel of much of East Austin and making it increasingly hard for many longtime residents to…

As the planet warms, Brigid Shea is planning Travis County's response

Commissioner Brigid Shea may have been elected to handle issues at the county level, but her focus is global. “My major focus in running for reelection, I believe very strongly as community leaders that we have to do more to…

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