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TipSheet: Travis County, 4.9.19

Tuesday, April 9, 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 entire agenda is available on the Travis County website.

7. Consider and take appropriate action on legislative matters, including: a. Update on legislative activities b. Legislation relating to the creation of Municipal Utility Districts in Travis County, including HB 1434, HB 4671, HB 4691, and SB 2498 c. Modifications to the Priorities, Policy Positions, and Positions on Other Proposals sections of the Travis County Legislative Agenda (Commissioners Shea & Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: Between the House passing its school finance bill, HB 3, last Wednesday, the House’s plan to take up the revenue caps bill, HB 2, this Wednesday and the Senate finally moving its revenue caps bill, SB 2, onto its Intent Calendar last week, Intergovernmental Relations and the court will have plenty to discuss Tuesday morning. Revenue caps continue to be a serious threat to counties and cities alike, despite substantial bipartisan concern that the 2.5 percent figure is far too low to allow local governments to perform their obligations.

8. Receive update on Justice Planning’s Workforce Development program. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The Workforce Development Task Force enrolls formerly and currently incarcerated individuals in job training to help them find work. The program also provides Capital Metro transit passes and other resources to ease the process for participants. The program began in the middle of Fiscal Year 2016 and since then has successfully helped 547 individuals gain employment, roughly 60 percent of its total client enrollment.

11. Receive update on the SAP Performance & Goals rollout. (Commissioners Travillion & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Streamlining process and measuring progress are subjects of frequent discussion at the Commissioners Court. The SAP HR Success Factors to be discussed here have been in place among five county departments – Human Resources Management Department, Information Technology Services, Transportation and Natural Resources, the auditor’s office, and the County Clerk – since January of this year. The SAP system essentially measures county employee performance through the lens of the county’s broader mission and specific department objectives. Last month, employees were given the chance to provide feedback on the new performance measures. Almost two-thirds of survey participants responded positively to the new system.

17. Consider and take appropriate action on a resolution for the County to comment on clean water rules under consideration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Judge Eckhardt & Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: This is back on the agenda from last week. This resolution will likely take a strong stance against the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, which serves to undo regulations from the Clean Water Act as amended in 1972. If passed, about half of wetlands across the country and 20 percent of stream and river miles would not be subject to rigorous standards.

27. Consider and take appropriate action on an order designating election day polling places for the May 4, 2019, local elections. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The Travis County joint general and special elections are approaching and the county is designating a number of new locations to conduct training for election workers due to ongoing construction at the county’s usual site at 5501 Airport Boulevard.

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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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