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TipSheet: Travis County, 2.19.19

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. To help our readers stay informed, each week we offer a selection of interesting items from the voting session agenda. The full agenda can be found on the Travis County website.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on the 2019 Transit Empowerment Fund, Capital Metro Transit Pass Program Application. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The county plans to buy 4,500 transit passes to sell at deeply discounted rates to transit-dependent individuals living in poverty. Half of the passes will be monthly and the other half will either be weekly or daily passes. Most of the passes are for local service but a total of 500 will also be valid for commuter bus and rail. The total cost of the TEF is estimated at $32,885 and will serve an estimated 3,500 customers.

10. Consider and take appropriate action on legislative matters, including: a. Update on legislative activities b. Revenue caps legislation, including SB 2, HB 2, HB 470 and HB 913 c. Adoption of a resolution in opposition to revenue cap legislation d. Modifications to the Priorities, Policy Positions, and Positions on Other Proposals sections of the Travis County Legislative Agenda (Commissioners Shea & Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: The county will be using this briefing to reaffirm its opposition to the four bills already filed, championed by Gov. Greg Abbott, which would impact the county’s ability to raise taxes from year to year. The commissioners will be approving a resolution announcing opposition to the property tax relief bills.

12. Receive briefing from the Indigent Legal Services (ILS) Work Group and County staff on draft Intent to Submit Application (ISA) letter to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission for the creation of a public defender office in Travis County. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The ILS work group only started holding regular meetings early this year, and has already unanimously approved a draft letter declaring the county’s intention to create a public defender office. The court will have several opportunities over the coming weeks to provide feedback and discuss the draft before the application deadline on March 11.

17. Receive presentation regarding the United States Green Building Council LEED Silver Certification and the Austin Energy Green Building 3-Stars Rating for the Ronald Earle Building. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The county approved a resolution in 2009 that set out to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED silver-level certification standards for all new county buildings. In October 2018, the county’s Ronald Earle Building on West 11th Street became the latest project to meet that requirement. The court will be receiving a presentation on the building and the LEED award in acknowledgment of that achievement.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.

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