BG Note | News - What We're Reading (November 15, 2017)

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[Austin Metro]

City regulations may create more homelessness (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

City ordinances prohibiting panhandling in certain areas, criminalizing camping in public places, living in a car or tent, or sitting or lying on the sidewalk in parts of downtown are creating barriers that make it more difficult for people to overcome homelessness.
That’s the conclusion of an audit from the Office of the City Auditor that will be presented to the City Council Audit and Finance Committee this morning.
The audit is the first of a series intended to help the city evaluate its efforts to reduce homelessness.

Environmental Commission defers CodeNEXT 2.0 recommendation (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

With the third draft of CodeNEXT slated to be presented to the public on Nov. 28, Watershed Protection Department staff hoped to receive a recommendation of approval from the Environmental Commission for the completed second draft on Nov. 1. However, after a long and contentious debate, the Environmental Commission voted unanimously to recommend that “the proposed timeline for consideration and adoption of the draft code be delayed to allow the City staff, the Equity Office, the Environmental Commission and members of the public to fully analyze, consider the impacts, and engage with the community regarding the proposed code changes.”
The discussion is back on tonight’s meeting agenda...

[STATE]

Texas leaders call for reviews of Capitol sexual harassment policies (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Texas leaders are calling for a review of sexual harassment policies at the state Legislature following a Texas Tribune story detailing how current procedures offered little protection for victims.
Lawmakers in both chambers on Tuesday said they would look at how to improve the process for reporting sexual harassment at the Capitol. The push follows reports on a wide range of harassment at the Capitol, including degrading comments and gestures, groping and unwanted sexual advances, that regularly goes unchecked... 

Texas Association of Business ranks best, worst state legislators (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The state’s largest business lobbying group vowed Tuesday to help mobilize support for pro-business candidates for the Texas Legislature in the wake of this year’s regular and special sessions, where it often found itself on the defensive while social conservatives steered the agenda. “The business community is motivated to become very involved in the primaries,” said Jeff Moseley, chief executive of the Texas Association of Business. “Our members are more energized than they’ve ever been.”
The issue is likely to loom large for the business group leading up to the next legislative session in 2019 because a powerful business ally — House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio — recently announced he will not seek re-election...

[NATION]

Texans Willett and Ho prepare for Senate grilling for appeals court posts (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

Two Texas nominees for a powerful appeals court — Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and former state Solicitor General James Ho — will have a confirmation hearing Wednesday. President Donald Trump named Willett, known as the state’s “Tweeter Laureate,” and Ho, a prominent Dallas attorney, on Sept. 28 to serve on the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are likely to grill the two conservatives, but they’re expected to be approved by the committee, where Republicans hold the majority. Confirmation requires approval by the full Senate.

The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.

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