Tag Archives: Texas State Legislature

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Legislature cuts farmers market fees, costing city

Passage of a little-known bill, Senate Bill 932, which establishes a $100 maximum fee for food sales permits at farmers markets, will cost the Austin Public Health Department about $4,000 in the current fiscal year and an estimated $41,485 in…

Friday, July 12, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Report finds Texas bipartisanship wins

Despite the “blue wave” election in 2018, Republicans maintained control of both houses of the Texas Legislature during the 2019 legislative session that just concluded. As expected, the majority of bills were authored and approved by Republicans.During the session, however,…

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council wants justice for state’s actions

Caught in the wake of the 86th Texas Legislative session, City Council members are directing attention to the state leaders they say have intentionally pitted city governments against their constituents.In a briefing with Council on Tuesday, Brie Franco, intergovernmental relations…

Monday, June 17, 2019 by Austin Monitor

Austin Monitor Radio: Deece Eckstein

This week, Travis County Intergovernmental Relations Officer Deece Eckstein sits down with Austin Monitor reporter Jack Craver to catch up on the past session of the Texas Legislature. Listen in below to hear why Eckstein considers it the worst session…

Monday, May 6, 2019 by Jack Craver

County leaders denounce anti-lobbying proposal

In addition to imposing strict constraints on local governments’ ability to raise property tax revenue, Republicans at the state Legislature want to limit how those governments can spend their tax dollars.A number of bills have been filed this session that…

Thursday, April 25, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County braces for lean times

Travis County commissioners spent a good chunk of Tuesday morning fuming over state legislation targeting local control, notably a proposal that will sharply limit the ability of local governments to raise property tax revenue.A bill recently approved by the state…

Thursday, April 11, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Council strongly opposes property tax bills

As Speaker of the Texas House Dennis Bonnen calls the chamber to order today, Austin’s City Council will begin working its way through its regular agenda. That agenda includes a resolution adamantly rejecting House Bill 2, the property tax bill…

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Proposed labor rule would mean gig economy workers in Texas can’t get unemployment benefits

The state’s labor regulator will meet this morning for a final vote on a controversial new rule on gig economy workers that opponents say will have far-reaching implications for workers going forward.The proposed rule from the Texas Workforce Commission would…

Friday, April 5, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Austin FC hires legislative lobbyists

The soccer club Austin FC, owned by Precourt Sports Ventures, hired three lobbyists on March 7, the day after Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, introduced legislation that could seriously impact Precourt’s plans for a new soccer stadium at McKalla Place.The club…

Thursday, April 4, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Property tax bill could cost soccer club

Senator Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, has introduced legislation that could put a crimp in the plans of anyone leasing municipal property for a new sports facility – such as a soccer stadium – and planning not to pay property taxes to…

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Under House school finance bill, Austin would get to keep $194 million more in taxes in 2020

Austin Independent School District would pay $194 million less in recapture in 2020 if House Bill 3, the chamber’s $9 billion school finance plan, is passed.Recapture is the law that requires “property-rich” school districts, like Austin ISD and most other…

Friday, March 29, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Here are 3 ways state lawmakers could disrupt (or shore up) short-term rentals in Texas this session

For years, short-term rentals – the rooms, cottages, condos and homes on apps like Airbnb and HomeAway – have been the subject of lawsuits and hand-wringing on the part of regulators and people looking to rent out properties.Texas lawmakers haven’t…

Friday, March 29, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Music venues could see liquor tax relief under proposed state laws

An Austin-based live music advocacy group has helped with the creation of two bills up for consideration in the Texas Legislature that would provide rebates on liquor tax payments to music venues across the state.House Bill 2806 was presented Tuesday…

Friday, March 1, 2019 by Audrey McGlinchy

While it’s held up in court, Austin’s paid sick leave law comes closer to being undone by the state

Texas lawmakers advanced a bill on Thursday that would prevent cities from requiring private employers to give their workers certain benefits, such as paid sick leave.“This bill creates a statewide policy for consistent regulation by giving clarity to our private…

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Legislature traditions keeping revenue caps at bay, for now

Travis County has a lot to lose if the Texas Legislature decides to discard tradition for the sake of passing the four property tax relief bills that have been filed this session. After Sen. Paul Bettencourt’s Senate Bill 2 was…

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Local officials unite to fight property tax caps

Just hours after Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday, declaring school finance reform, property tax relief and teacher pay raises to be emergency items on the legislative agenda, county officials from around the state…

Friday, January 11, 2019 by Audrey McGlinchy

The city-state fight continues in the 2019 legislative session: Here are bills to look out for

When the Texas Legislature reconvened on Jan. 8, lawmakers already had on their desks bills aimed at undoing city of Austin rules.The city-state conflict is nothing new. Last time they met in 2017, state lawmakers passed bills overturning Austin ordinances…

Friday, January 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Science friction: Austin Democrats look at growing clash between politics and facts

Perhaps the key to fighting fake news claims and a growing resistance to scientific research in state and federal policy decisions comes down to teaching scientists and engineers how to tell jokes.The need for making scientific analysis accessible and relatable…

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

How three former federal immigration officials view Texas’ ‘sanctuary cities’ ban

The next chapter in the fight over Texas’ immigration enforcement law begins Tuesday, as attorneys on both sides of the case over Senate Bill 4, the so-called “sanctuary cities” law, head back to federal court. Judges for the 5th U.S.…

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Prostitution court falling short of county expectations

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt on Tuesday revealed that a justice program aimed at helping residents charged with prostitution is falling short of expectations.“Relying on the criminal and civil justice system to boot-strap these individuals who are in such serious…

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