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TipSheet: Travis County, 7.23.19

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by Jack Craver

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.

6. Receive update regarding community planning for substance use disorders. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: This relates to an ongoing conversation about setting up a local behavioral health authority, similar to Integral Care, that would focus on addiction treatment. County staff conducted public outreach and met with stakeholders in April to gather information about how to better deliver and coordinate substance abuse treatment, including through an LBHA. Whether the commissioners decide that an authority is feasible may depend on the information presented by staff tomorrow.

7. Consider and take appropriate action on the grant application to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission for a public defender office in Travis County. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: This is the second-to-last opportunity for the court to approve modifications to a grant application the county is submitting to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. If the TIDC awards the grant, the county could get roughly $19 million over four years to help establish a public defender’s office. TIDC has asked the county to provide more specifics in its application about the structure of the proposed office. Last week, the court voted to approve a seven-member oversight committee for the office, although it did not specify who will be on the committee. This week it will likely delve into issues related to the new office, including the metrics for measuring its success and how the county will find the money to support the new office long-term in light of the new property tax revenue restrictions put in place by the state.

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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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