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Texas State Legislature

Legislation addresses fire safety at kennels

A Williamson County lawmaker has filed a bill that would require all Texas kennel operators to have a fire-safety system in place to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred last month at a Georgetown pet boarding facility. Seventy-five…

Governor's order in August took millions from local public service projects

In August, following a meeting between the Capital Area Council of Governments and the governor’s office, 15 projects and nonprofits, including the SAFE Alliance and Asian Family Support Services of Austin, lost funding they were offered in April. Because of…

Here's what's in Texas Republicans' new voting law

Editor’s Note: Senate Bill 1, Texas’ restrictive new voting bill, was the law of the Lone Star State for barely an hour when civil rights groups launched a slew of lawsuits aimed at striking down the law. A federal lawsuit…

Commissioners approve state-mandated changes to leave policy

Three bills were signed into law during the past legislative session that will change or add to existing leave policies for county employees. House Bill 1589 provides seven days of paid leave for public officers and employees engaged in certain types…

Democrats sue Texas in attempt to get federal courts to redraw legislative districts before 2022

Texas Democrats say the state’s legislative districts can’t be redrawn in 2021 and they’re asking a federal court to redraw them before the 2022 election. The state has already begun work on redrawing its maps, but a federal lawsuit filed…

Austin legislators fought hard for city, Franco reports

It was no surprise to City Council Tuesday when Brie Franco, Austin’s intergovernmental relations officer, described the recently concluded 2021 session of the Texas Legislature as “one of the most difficult sessions I’ve actually worked on in my over 20…

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With state change, Board of Adjustment could consider new hardships

A move by the Texas Legislature could change the way the city grants variances to the Land Development Code. The bill, House Bill 1475, would add another type of hardship for the Board of Adjustment to consider – the financial…

Texas Legislature takes aim at parents and doctors of trans youth

Every once in a while, the monotonous, besuited cast of the Texas Capitol is overshadowed by the attention-grabbing hues of pride flags and the testimony of people showing up to ensure that their colors are seen and respected. And in…

Downtown Commission objects to proposed state rollback of city sound ordinance

The Downtown Commission is the latest city body to formally object to a proposed state law that would invalidate most of Austin’s noise ordinance and make it legal for bars and clubs to generate loud music until 2 a.m. seven…

Mayor, City Council express opposition to state legislation

Mayor Steve Adler and several City Council members expressed their frustration with the Legislature at Tuesday’s work session, after Intergovernmental Relations Officer Brie Franco described legislation aimed at curbing Austin’s authority to govern itself. Among Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s announced…

City watching bills that would cut its authority

As has been the case for several sessions, Austin is facing numerous challenges as the Texas Legislature begins to do its business. Due to Covid, this session will present new challenges, not just for city advocates, but for members and…

Environmental Commission discusses its role in political advocacy

The Jan. 20 meeting of the Environmental Commission addressed a resolution that would support the city’s 87th State Legislative Agenda, a City Council resolution that passed in September of last year. According to the city, the agenda – which has no…

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