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TipSheet: Travis County, 5.30.17

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The County Clerk’s office hosts a copy at its website.

9. Receive update on DNA issues related to the closure of the Austin Police Department Forensics Sciences Center’s DNA testing lab. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: A lot of activity has occurred since the court last heard an update on the broad effort to pick up the pieces after the Austin Police Department’s DNA lab shut down following a scathing audit last year. The Texas Department of Public Safety struck a deal with APD to conduct DNA forensic testing moving forward, while the department has also submitted an application for a federal grant that could cover costs to review potentially corrupt DNA evidence analyzed before the lab closed. The scale of the catastrophe remains yet to be fully understood, but it appears that both the county and city are actively getting their ducks in a row.

11. Consider and take appropriate action on a request from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) to establish an acupuncture treatment program, to be provided by Texas Health and Science University for voluntary participation by TCSO employees. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: All of the ultra fun and rewarding careers at the TSCO are about to get even better if the court approves this request, which has been signed off on by Sheriff Sally Hernandez. The deal would give TSCO employees access to free acupuncture by students in the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Texas Health and Science University, a private institution in South Austin. So, now you can be stuck full of pins and needles by rookie college kids while also protecting public safety in Travis County.

17. Consider and take appropriate action on 308 Guadalupe. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The fate of one of the last undeveloped blocks of downtown Austin is tantalizingly close to being revealed … but we’re not holding out hope that we’ll find out anything definitive today. Call us disillusioned, but we fully expect this to be discussed in executive session and any details will be withheld until all of the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted. Though, feel free to prove us wrong, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt!

33. Receive Sine Die update from Intergovernmental Relations. (Commissioners Shea & Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: The regular session of the 85th Texas Legislature is over. Let’s drink.

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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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