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TipSheet: Travis County, 7.18.17

Tuesday, July 18, 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.

6. Receive update on DNA issues related to the closure of the Austin Police Department Forensics Sciences Center’s DNA testing lab, and take appropriate action. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The DNA lab continues to be a bee in the court’s bonnet. It’s not entirely apparent from the backup exactly what action could be taken today; there may be some insight into exactly how many cases have been affected by the forensic lab’s closure following a damning audit.

10. Receive “Focus on Poverty in Travis County” presentation. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Here then is a five-year snapshot on poverty rates in Travis County courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The highlights: The raw number of residents living with barely any means has increased since 2010, but the overall rate has stayed the same.

19. Receive and discuss the final report and prioritized proposed project list from the 2017 Citizens Bond Advisory Committee. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: It appears that the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee may finally have a recommendation for a November bond election. After many months of toil and trouble, the CBAC seems to have balked at the original idea of putting forth a relatively small slate of projects for voters to approve. Instead, the recommendation is $234.5 million worth of infrastructure needs, with the idea that 61 percent of that package should be vetted by public referendum. If we’re using our journalist’s math correctly – which is a stretch – that’s a $143 million bond election, or slightly less than half of the $287 million civil courthouse proposal that county voters scotched in 2015.

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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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