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Health department audit shows flaws in system

Austin Public Health’s contracts with the African American Youth Harvest Foundation do not require sufficient documentation to allow the department to adequately monitor the contracts, according to a draft audit report released Monday. In criticizing the health department’s monitoring of…

Travis County commissioners expected to vote on Sendero budget

The Travis County Commissioners Court is scheduled to vote this morning on Central Health’s budget, which includes money for the nonprofit Sendero Health Plans. Central Health’s board of managers voted Saturday to allocate $26 million to Sendero Health Plans in…

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Ethics commission considers examining possible 'dark money' violation

Members of Austin’s Ethics Review Commission are eager to examine a potential violation of the city’s “dark money” campaign finance law that has generated press attention and speculation in city political circles in recent weeks. At Wednesday night’s meeting, Commissioner…

Firefighter wins battle with city

Austin firefighters won their battle to get the city to drop its lawsuit against one of their own, Lt. Carrie Stewart, who filed a claim for workers’ compensation after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2015. After…

Commissioners Court considers its options, postpones Central Health budget vote

Public protest and confusion surrounding the Sept. 12 Central Health Board of Managers vote to dissolve Sendero Health Plans has the Travis County Commissioners Court questioning how to move forward. Central Health President and CEO Mike Geeslin presented its Fiscal…

Austin renters and people of color are most likely to be displaced because of gentrification

A new study from the University of Texas points to widespread gentrification in Austin, stretching from northern neighborhoods to the eastern edge of South Austin. Researchers say the groups most impacted by displacement are low-income African-American and Hispanic renters. Jake…

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Cuts to arts groups brings call for changes to funding mechanism

Local arts groups facing dramatic cuts in their funding levels from the city could get some relief this budget year, and possibly an earlier heads-up in future budget years if their funding allocations appear headed for a decrease. The city’s…

Arts space assistance doubles in new budget, but is it enough?

The city has revived the Arts Space Assistance Program that was created in 2017 and received overwhelming demand from local arts groups facing a loss of space, but was discontinued in the current budget due to lack of funding. The…

Commission calls on Austin to ban cat declawing

The city Animal Advisory Commission has unanimously recommended that the city ban cat declawing. The commission unanimously approved the resolution on Monday after hearing an hour of testimony from veterinarians and animal rights activists, most of whom described declawing as…

City boosts spending on homelessness, but advocates still disappointed

The Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget approved by City Council on Tuesday includes a $3.4 million increase in funding for homelessness services. City staff estimates that the new funds come on top of more than $26 million in annual city spending…

With stunning speed, Council approves budget

For the first time in years, City Council spent less than a day deliberating on its fiscal year budget. Council approved a $4.1 billion budget that will raise the effective property tax rate by 5.4 percent. Austin property owners will…

Innovators, Austin lifestyle, UT brought Army here

Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, who serves as director of combat systems for Austin’s brand-new Army Futures Command, said Tuesday that Austin was chosen as the site of the first new Army command since 1973 because Austin has the talent, the…

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