Tag Archives: Texas Legislature

Friday, October 15, 2021 by Jo Clifton

EMS union joins firefighters in opposing Prop A

The political action committee for the Austin EMS employees union has voted to join the Austin Firefighters Association PAC and AFSCME Local 1624, the civilian employees union, in opposing Proposition A on the November ballot. Save Austin Now, the PAC…

Thursday, October 14, 2021 by Amy Smith

Legislation addresses fire safety at kennels

A Williamson County lawmaker has filed a bill that would require all Texas kennel operators to have a fire-safety system in place to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred last month at a Georgetown pet boarding facility. Seventy-five…

Friday, October 1, 2021 by Jackie Ibarra

In the face of statewide abortion ban, Council affirms support for reproductive rights

In 2019, the city of Austin made headlines for being one of the first cities in the nation to allocate funds to help women access abortions. Now, with the recent passage of Texas’ Senate Bill 8, the most restrictive abortion ban…

Thursday, September 16, 2021 by Elizabeth Pagano

New supermajority law for historic districts now in effect

The already tough task of creating historic districts in Austin just got a little harder, thanks to new state laws.  In 2019, the Texas Legislature changed the rules governing the designation of historic landmarks by requiring a supermajority of the Historic…

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Last year Austin cut its police budget by millions. A new state law means it’ll likely reverse that move this week.

The same day Austin City Council members voted to reduce the police budget by roughly $150 million, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to make it so cities could never do it again. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the…

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 by Nathan Bernier, KUT

Austin’s downtown rail plans shifted after bill allowing transit under parks failed to pass

The crown jewel of Austin’s $7 billion transit expansion is the city’s first-ever underground light rail system through the middle of downtown, a state-of-the-art transit corridor down Fourth Street bookended by Republic Square Park on the west and Brush Square…

Thursday, June 10, 2021 by Jo Clifton

Austin legislators fought hard for city, Franco reports

It was no surprise to City Council Tuesday when Brie Franco, Austin’s intergovernmental relations officer, described the recently concluded 2021 session of the Texas Legislature as “one of the most difficult sessions I’ve actually worked on in my over 20…

Thursday, June 3, 2021 by Amy Smith

Bill that would have revived Land Development Code dies in session

It wasn’t on the city’s legislative agenda, but a bill that would have empowered City Council to move forward with a final vote on a revised Land Development Code died in a House committee, giving neighborhood advocates another victory over…

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Bill penalizing Texas cities that cut funding for police heads to governor’s desk

Texas lawmakers on Friday gave final approval to a bill that would financially punish large cities that cut their police budgets, including prohibiting them from raising new property tax revenue. The legislation now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has said…

Thursday, May 13, 2021 by Elizabeth Pagano

With state change, Board of Adjustment could consider new hardships

A move by the Texas Legislature could change the way the city grants variances to the Land Development Code. The bill, House Bill 1475, would add another type of hardship for the Board of Adjustment to consider – the financial…

Monday, May 3, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Prop E approval OKs ranked-choice voting, with legal questions ahead

Austin voters came out in favor of a new system for conducting local contested elections beginning in 2022, though how or if that change will be made appears unclear. Proposition E was approved 87,516 to 63,510 on Saturday, with nearly…

Thursday, April 29, 2021 by Angelo Gaunichaux

Texas Legislature takes aim at parents and doctors of trans youth

Every once in a while, the monotonous, besuited cast of the Texas Capitol is overshadowed by the attention-grabbing hues of pride flags and the testimony of people showing up to ensure that their colors are seen and respected. And in…

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 by Jo Clifton

Mayor, City Council express opposition to state legislation

Mayor Steve Adler and several City Council members expressed their frustration with the Legislature at Tuesday’s work session, after Intergovernmental Relations Officer Brie Franco described legislation aimed at curbing Austin’s authority to govern itself. Among Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s announced…

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City, live music advocates decry legislation that would limit noise regulations

City leaders and live music advocates spoke out Monday against a bill in the Texas Legislature that would limit the ability of cities to regulate amplified sound from bars and music venues. The press conference at downtown club 3Ten was…

Thursday, March 25, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Rep. Talarico proposes bill for educational equity officers; AISD is a case study

Earlier this month, Rep. James Talarico, who represents Texas’ 52nd District, filed a bill aimed at tackling equity issues within the state’s education systems. Specifically, the bill would require school districts to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion officer. According to…

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Eckhardt, activists target ballot access bills in play for state lawmakers

Voters in Texas face the prospect of restricted access to the ballot box in coming years, with a group of Republican-proposed bills in the state Legislature drawing heavy criticism from Democrats and others concerned about increased obstacles to voting. The…

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Abbott plots DPS takeover of APD

Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Twitter Monday that he had received draft language to seize Austin’s Police Department and put it under the control of the Texas Department of Public Safety “just in time for Christmas.” The Austin Police Association,…

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 by Seth Smalley

Travis County prepares for 87th Texas Legislature

Last Tuesday, Dec. 15, Travis County Intergovernmental Relations Officer Julie Wheeler presented the draft agenda items for the upcoming Texas legislative session to the Travis County Commissioners Court. The 87th Texas Legislature will convene on Jan. 12, and the legislative…

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Group begins collecting signatures to put state law limiting police oversight to a vote

A new political action committee is trying to put a state law governing police oversight on the ballot next May. “I think it’s really unique and kind of amazing that (this petition could) allow the voters in Austin to decide…

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Rodriguez concedes, calls for unity, Eckhardt headed to Texas Senate

Eddie Rodriguez announced Monday that he was opting out of an uphill battle for the Senate District 14 seat against former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt. Instead, Rodriguez said he would focus his efforts “on winning a Democratic majority and…

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