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TipSheet: Travis County, 4.13.21

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 by Seth Smalley

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 entire agenda is available at the Travis County website. The meeting will be streamed live on the Travis County website.

Special joint session Covid updates

County Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott and Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard will join the Commissioners Court for a special joint session with City Council. Expect the Covid brief to occupy a significant portion of the morning time, beginning at 9 a.m. So far, Covid case numbers have been declining for well over a month straight as vaccination infrastructure in the county is ramping up. The county has expanded eligibility to everyone over the age of 18 to meet demand. As of last week, a total of 203,932 vaccines had been administered by all APH hub locations, with 30,056 vaccines being administered last week, according to Hayden-Howard. Last week, Escott said, “We’ve seen some criticism of the U.S. nationally, but we’re actually doing a very good job on the global stage in terms of (vaccine) rollout.” Escott also affirmed that, at this point, any new surges were unlikely to overwhelm the health care infrastructure.

Voting session items to look out for

Item 1
Proclamation for National Crime Victims Rights Week. This is an annual commemoration that takes place every April that honors survivors and promotes victims’ rights. Events are planned from April 18-24 for the purpose of raising awareness of survivors’ stories.

Item 21
Commissioners will discuss the Lights Out Texas initiative. This conservation effort aims to protect migrating birds by asking people to turn off their lights at night during the peak migration season. Artificial light disorients birds, and millions are killed every year from collisions with buildings.

Item A1

Drawing from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the county is receiving $10.7 million in federal relief funding designated for an emergency rental assistance program, or ERAP. In January it was announced that the county would receive the funding, and on March 9, the Commissioners Court unanimously approved implementation of the program. Today there will be an update and discussion on the ERAP program.

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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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