BG Note | News - What We're Reading (November 28, 2017)


[Austin Metro]

A sick leave ordinance is coming, but details are unclear (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

A coalition of city leaders and advocacy groups is pushing for Austin to join many of the nation’s largest cities in requiring employers to provide employees with a certain number of paid sick days.
On Nov. 15 at the People’s Community Clinic in Northeast Austin, a group of small business owners assembled to lend their support for the effort, which is being led in City Council by Council Member Greg Casar...
[H]e hopes to have an ordinance crafted and approved by Council in February.

Bazaarvoice is Going Private in a $521M Buyout (AustinInno) LINK TO STORY

A little over a week after Austin had its first tech company IPO in three years, one of its existing publicly-traded companies is being taken private in a buyout deal.
Bazaarvoice (Nasdaq: BV) has agreed to a $521 million buyout by Marlin Equity Partners, a Los Angeles-based investment firm. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, is all about providing value for stockholders...

CodeNEXT may separate land use commissions from connectivity oversight role (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

If it seems like there hasn’t been much talk about how CodeNEXT deals with connectivity, it’s because the latest draft has largely sidelined the land use commissions’ participation in that process. Uncomfortable being benched, some commissioners at their Nov. 20 joint meeting called for staff to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to better incorporate planning in the endeavor to integrate the city’s transit systems...

Austin district approves sales of district headquarters, Baker (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The Austin school board Monday night approved the high-profile sales of district headquarters, the Baker Center and the Millett Opera House (home of the Austin Club), among other surplus properties.
The school board in an 8-0-1 vote, with Trustee Julie Cowan abstaining, directed staff to execute the sale of the Carruth Center on West 6th Street, which has been home to district headquarters for more than 25 years. The district is selling the 128,000-square-foot headquarters for $36.5 million to Schlosser Development of Austin, and moved forward with the purchase of the Southfield Building, near the northwest corner of Interstate 35 and Ben White Boulevard in South Austin, as the site for a new district headquarters for $28.4 million...
Austin ISD eyes Southfield building for new district headquarters (Austin American-Statesman)


A&M's firing of football coach Kevin Sumlin means another big buyout for a Texas school (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Texas A&M University football coach Kevin Sumlin may have had his pride wounded when he was fired this weekend. But financially, he'll be no worse off. Thanks to a raise and contract extension awarded to him in 2013, Sumlin is still entitled to the $10 million he would have been paid if he hadn't been fired by A&M, according to his employment contract. That means Sumlin will join the ranks of several other coaches from Texas who will be paid millions by state schools not to lead their teams anymore...

Gov. Abbott taps legal adviser for Texas Supreme Court (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Facing an impending vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court, Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t look far to find a replacement for Justice Don Willett, a rising conservative star who was tapped by President Donald Trump for a federal appeals court seat.
Abbott announced Monday that he will appoint Jimmy Blacklock, general counsel in the governor’s office, immediately after the U.S. Senate approves Willett’s nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — something Texas’ two Republican senators said can be expected next month, the governor said...

UT regents vote 4-3 to pursue Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab contract (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The governing board of the University of Texas System voted 4-3 Monday to authorize the system to compete for a federal contract to manage and operate Los Alamos National Laboratory, birthplace of the nation’s nuclear weapons program. It was a rare split vote for a board that normally is unanimous, especially on important matters. Nonetheless, the regents who voted against making a bid — Kevin Eltife, Janiece Longoria and Steve Hicks — all said they respected the others’ position. Regents Ernest Aliseda, David Beck, Jeffery Hildebrand and Paul Foster voted in favor. Chairwoman Sara Martinez Tucker did not vote, and Regent Rad Weaver was not on the line for the meeting by telephone...


Texans in Congress brace for frenzied agenda in December (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

In the coming weeks, Congress is set to run out of road after a year of kicking the can. Faced with several issues to address in September, federal legislators instead passed short-term measures through December. As a result, Texas members will be forced to finally deal with year's worth of unfinished legislation. It's a staggering docket ahead, ranging from a tax overhaul to children's health insurance. And it's all taking place with disruptive undercurrents: Members are retiring en masse, and the two chambers are on edge as sexual misconduct allegations fly in public and in private...

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