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TipSheet: This week’s Council committees

Monday, September 14, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

As part of our ongoing effort to keep readers up to date with all that is going on at City Hall, we present our tipsheet for Austin City Council committees. As usual, we will be offering highlights of meetings, with links to entire agendas.

Economic Opportunity Committee

Monday, Sept. 14, 2:00 p.m.

4. Briefing from participants of stakeholder group regarding fair chance hiring practices and other invited testimony related to Resolution 20150521-025 concerning the use of conviction history in hiring and fair chance hiring practices by private employers in the City of Austin.

Monitor’s take: In May, City Council passed a resolution that launched the exploration of delaying when the city asked about applicants’ criminal history when hiring. This is the report from the stakeholder group that was consulted about the issue, which could change how the city and companies with Chapter 380 agreements hire people. Known more commonly as “ban the box,” more information about the national campaign can be found here.

Planning and Neighborhoods Committee

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 1:00 p.m.

3.Discussion and possible action on recommendations for short-term rental regulations and enforcement (no public comment will be taken).

Monitor’s take: The str rules approved at the end of last month now go to the committee for further refinement and consideration of another resolution. The committee resolution will look at occupancy limits, and whether there should be a ban on STRs being within 1000 feet of each other, among other things. After going through this committee, the code amendments will return to Council with the other short-term rental code amendments already approved through resolution. No public comment will be taken at the committee meeting.

Health and Human Services Committee

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 9:00 a.m.

5. Briefing on the status of the City’s participation in the 1115 Medicaid Waiver programs designed to transform the financing and delivery of public health interventions for safety net populations (Bob Corona, Chief of Staff, Health And Human Services Department; Laura LaFuente, Program Manager, Health And Human Services Department).

Monitor’s take: This is just a briefing, and not newsworthy per se, but the Monitor will note that if you ever had a desire to understand more about the rather complicated 1115 Medicaid Waiver program, this might help!

7. Update on staff briefing on the City of Austin’s efforts regarding unregulated boarding homes. (Carl Smart, Director, Austin Code Department; Paul Tomasovic, Division Manager, Austin Code Department).

Monitor’s take: Unregulated boarding homes have been a persistent presence on the HHS agenda, and a sporadic source of consternation in local news. This update about enforcement efforts could be interesting.

Public Utilities Committee

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 3:00 p.m.

6. Briefing and public comment regarding changes to the Austin Water Utility drought contingency plan and water conservation chapter of the city code.

7. Discussion and possible action regarding Austin Water Utility billing issues.

Monitor’s take: Both of the potentially interesting items on the PUC agenda deal with the Austin Water Utility. First of all, anything have to do with water conservation tends to be interesting — we suspect that Item 6 has to do with a plan to adopt Stage 2 watering restrictions permanently. As for billing issues? Those are usually fun, as long as you aren’t on the receiving side of them.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council Economic Opportunity Committee: The Economic Opportunity Committee reviews the city’s economic opportunities and matters related to fair wage and business contracting policies.

Austin City Council Health and Human Services Committee: An Austin City Council committee charged with looking at such issues as income disparity, the regional SNAP program, and healthcare.

Austin City Council Planning and Neighborhoods Committee: A City Council committee that reviews neighborhood issues, including neighborhood planning and code issues.

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