Tag Archives: Texas State Legislature

Monday, July 19, 2021 by Amy Smith

Legislators respond to winter storm with new requirements for energy providers

The Electric Utility Commission received an update last week on legislative action related to electric utilities, with Senate Bill 3 serving as the omnibus response bill to Winter Storm Uri in mid-February. SB 3, approved at the close of the…

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown Commission objects to proposed state rollback of city sound ordinance

The Downtown Commission is the latest city body to formally object to a proposed state law that would invalidate most of Austin’s noise ordinance and make it legal for bars and clubs to generate loud music until 2 a.m. seven…

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 by Jo Clifton

City watching bills that would cut its authority

As has been the case for several sessions, Austin is facing numerous challenges as the Texas Legislature begins to do its business. Due to Covid, this session will present new challenges, not just for city advocates, but for members and…

Monday, January 25, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Environmental Commission discusses its role in political advocacy

The Jan. 20 meeting of the Environmental Commission addressed a resolution that would support the city’s 87th State Legislative Agenda, a City Council resolution that passed in September of last year. According to the city, the agenda – which has no…

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 by Jimmy Maas

Safety concerns grow in Austin as the first day of the Texas legislative session dawns

Today is the opening day of the Texas legislative session. And after last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, security is a much bigger concern than it has been in recent memory. Lawmakers are having to consider what was unimaginable…

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Hinojosa tries again for inclusionary zoning

State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, is trying once again to repeal the state law that prevents Texas cities from using an affordable housing tool known as inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning programs allow cities to require developers to provide housing for…

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Austin gets ready for Texas Legislature

When Texas legislators return to the state capital in January they can expect to face a $4.6 billion budget deficit, according to a prediction from Comptroller Glenn Hegar. The deficit is a result of the pandemic and associated economic decline,…

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Gov. Abbott proposes freezing property tax revenue in cities that cut police funding

In the hopes of discouraging cities from reducing money spent on police, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday he and other state leaders support the passage of a bill halting a property tax revenue increase for any Texas city that cuts…

Thursday, March 26, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City, county taxes could climb 8 percent under emergency declaration

A provision included in the Texas Legislature’s “property tax transparency” bill could offer jurisdictions across the state, including the city of Austin, the financial flexibility necessary to deal with some of the economic impacts of COVID-19. According to an update…

Monday, November 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

Exit Eckstein: Travis County’s retiring lobbyist reflects on his battles at the Legislature

After 11 years, Deece Eckstein is calling it quits as Travis County’s top lobbyist. He recently told members of the Commissioners Court that he will retire from his position as the intergovernmental relations officer at the end of the year.…

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 by Mose Buchele

New Texas pipeline protest law is about more than pipelines

A law went into effect in Texas this week that increases penalties for demonstrators who interfere with oil and gas pipelines and other pieces of “critical infrastructure.” Oil and gas states have adopted such laws to crack down on demonstrations…

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Austin could fund ‘logistical support’ for low-income women seeking abortions

Four Austin City Council members want the city to help low-income women obtain abortions – without the city actually paying for the procedure. At the urging of local reproductive rights groups, Austin city leaders are working to set aside up…

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 by Jo Clifton

‘Shot clock’ reviews hit Council’s agenda

Under a looming deadline from the state, Council is set on Thursday to pass changes to the way the city reviews and approves subdivision development applications, despite the possibility of “unfortunate and unintended consequences,” in the words of Council Member…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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