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TipSheet: This week’s Council committees

Monday, November 9, 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 tip sheet for Austin City Council committees. As usual, we will be offering highlights of meetings, with links to entire agendas.

Economic Opportunity Council Committee

Monday, Nov. 9, 1 p.m.

4. Consider and develop a recommendation regarding Fair Chance Hiring Practices concerning the use of conviction history in hiring and fair chance hiring practices by private employers in the City of Austin.

Monitor’s take: We’ve reported on the “Ban the Box” campaign in the past (most recently today, in a story for which Jo Clifton sat down someone who has been personally impacted by the issue). In a nutshell, the city is considering an ordinance that would prohibit private companies from asking about the criminal history of a job applicant on the initial application. The last time the Economic Opportunity Committee met, there was strong support for the ordinance, but there are still some details to be worked out.

6. Discussion and recommendation for the disposition of $2,411,249.01 in fee revenue from White Lodging Service Corporation.

Monitor’s take: In October, City Council accepted a settlement from White Lodging to pay back to the city $2.4 million in fees. The fees were previously waived, but the hotel chain did not stick to its agreement to pay workers a prevailing wage during construction of the downtown JW Marriott. Now the city has to decide what to do with the $2.4 million it is getting back. Interestingly enough, the backup posted for this item is a presentation on the city’s “Business Retention Program.” That program has recently been brought up in relation to some of Austin’s struggling music venues, particularly those in the Red River Cultural District.

Council Transition Committee

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m.

1. Discuss topics related to council procedures and processes.

Monitor’s take: Given the ongoing confusion surrounding committee procedures and the extended time spent in meetings, we are looking forward to this discussion.

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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 Transition Committee: Though it's not an "official" committee, this City Council group was formed to take a look at the Council committee system that was reformed in 2015 in order to make the process more uniform and easier to understand and manage. It was quickly nicknamed the "Committee Committee."

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