Tag Archives: Texas Legislature

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

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…

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Updated: Runoff likely in Senate District 14 race

With six candidates vying to take the place of Senate District 14’s Kirk Watson, it seemed reasonable to assume there would be a runoff, most likely between two popular Democrats: former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and state Rep. Eddie…

Thursday, June 18, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Eckhardt leads in poll but trails in fundraising

According to a poll released by the Sarah Eckhardt campaign, the former Travis County judge has a wide lead in the race for Senate District 14 over both of her closest rivals, state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and former City Council…

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Save Historic Muny District has a board of directors

The Save Historic Muny District, which represents those who wish to preserve the first integrated golf course in the South, now has a board of directors. The board includes Mary Arnold and Ken Tiemann, both longtime advocates for the Lions…

Friday, September 13, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Advocates cheer abortion aid funding; Zimmerman sues city

As city leaders and advocates for reproductive choice gathered for a press conference Thursday morning, most of the conversation focused on how Austin became the first city in the country to allocate funding for logistical support, such as transportation and…

Friday, September 6, 2019 by Jo Clifton

New rules put pressure on land use commissions

Operating under new rules as a result of the so-called “shot clock bill,” members of the Zoning and Platting Commission and the Planning Commission will be under pressure to rapidly make decisions about whether to approve or reject subdivision development…

Monday, August 26, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City prepares for ‘shot clock’ bill with code amendments

Just in time, City Council approved changes to the Land Development Code Thursday intended to buffer the city’s subdivision development application process against House Bill 3167, known as the “shot clock” bill, effective statewide Sept. 1. Council members across the…

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Hot race shaping up for Republicans in HD 47

Former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman outraised four other Republican candidates vying for the chance to meet Democratic state Rep. Vikki Goodwin in the House District 47 race next year. Zimmerman reported raising nearly $37,700 in his July 15…

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 by Jo Clifton

City to get land for Shoal Creek bike bridge

As a result of two bills sponsored by Rep. Donna Howard and Sen. Kirk Watson, both Austin Democrats, the city of Austin will soon have an easement on state property that will allow for construction of a pedestrian-bicycle bridge connecting…

Friday, June 28, 2019 by Jo Clifton

‘Shot clock’ bill resets development review time

As Austin city leaders had their attention focused on the 3.5 percent tax cap that moved through the Texas Legislature, legislators were busy approving a bill that could have a serious impact on the city’s efforts to regulate development. The…

Friday, May 31, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Texas lawmakers tried to take the reins from cities this session. The results were mixed.

For the last handful of legislative sessions, the Texas Legislature has had it in for Austin and other cities. GOP lawmakers who regularly thumb their noses at “big government”-minded efforts in D.C. have filed bills targeting city laws regulating everything…

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County contemplates small wins, big losses at Legislature

Every week while the state Legislature is in session, Travis County’s chief lobbyist, Deece Eckstein, briefs members of the Commissioners Court on the bills that might affect the county. In recent months, the weekly briefing has usually been bleak, but…

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by Ashley Lopez

State lawmakers approve legislation shielding most Texans from surprise medical bills

Surprise medical bills may be a thing of the past for many Texans. In a unanimous vote, the Texas House approved a Senate bill banning health care providers from sending steep medical bills to insured Texans in emergencies. Senate Bill…

Friday, May 3, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

State bill no longer targets Austin’s MLS deal

A Senate bill that many felt could endanger the city’s lease deal on a new soccer stadium has been amended in a way that appears to have created an exception for the roughly $250 million structure. On Thursday, State Sen.…

Friday, May 3, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Watching Legislature, city delays financial forecast

Without final action on the property tax bill moving through the Texas Legislature, Austin budget planners are holding off on presenting the city’s financial forecast to City Council. At this point, however, legislative watchers expect final passage of SB 2,…

Thursday, April 18, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Austinites testify for, against Precourt bill

Dave Greeley, president of Precourt Sports Ventures, told a Senate committee Tuesday night that SB 1771 “would jeopardize the viability” of Austin FC, the soccer club slated to play in the stadium his company has agreed to build at McKalla…

Friday, April 5, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin defends its short-term rental rules before Texas lawmakers

Austin’s rules on short-term rental units – advertised on apps and sites like Airbnb and HomeAway – are under fire at the Texas Capitol. House lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would override the city’s ban on properties…

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