BG Note | News - What We're Reading (July 26, 2017)
Mayors of Texas’ largest cities left out of meeting with Gov. Abbott (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
"The mayors of Texas’ five largest cities, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, were left off the list of mayors who will meet with Gov. Greg Abbott over the coming week to discuss city-related issues at the Texas Legislature. Mayors from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth will not be in any of the meetings taking place Wednesday and Thursday at the governor’s mansion. Last week, 18 Texas mayors signed a letter requesting to meet with Abbott to talk about many of Abbott’s proposals they think would 'impede the ability of Texas cities to provide vital services.'"
Texas Police Chiefs Rally Against 'Bathroom Bill' Legislation (KUT) LINK TO STORY
"Law enforcement officials from across the state spoke out today at the Texas Capitol against proposed legislation that would restrict bathroom access to transgender people. Senate Bill 3, known as the “bathroom bill,” would restrict access to restrooms in government buildings to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate. Chiefs and other high-ranking law enforcement officers were uniform in their condemnation of the bill, which is a priority item during the special legislative session."
"Senate votes again to advance 'bathroom bill'" (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY
"As part of Republican efforts to revive the controversial "bathroom bill," the Texas Senate on Tuesday gave initial approval to another version of the legislation. The 21-10 vote came after an eight-hour debate during which Republicans once again espoused the need to pass the legislation for the sake of privacy in bathrooms while Democrats objected to its passage because of its discriminatory effect on an already vulnerable population."
Bill to ban tree ordinances passes Texas Senate (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
"Dozens of people told the Texas House Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday to let their own communities set local tree and land use regulations. The panel heard testimony for more than five hours on three bills."
- HB 7 by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), Relating to a tree planting credit to offset tree mitigation fees imposed by a municipality.
- HB 70 by Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin), Relating to a property owner's right to remove a tree or vegetation.
- HB 77 by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Relating to an optional fee in lieu of the dedication of parkland as a condition of approval by a municipality of land development or use.
2 years after old location was demolished, Jumpolin opens new piñata store in East Austin (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
"Jumpolin, the East Austin piñata store that was demolished two years ago, officially reopened Tuesday at a new location, one mile east from where the old one once stood. The store’s official grand opening will be held Aug. 19, said owner Sergio Lejarazu. Lejarazu and his wife opened Jumpolin at the 1401 E. Cesar Chavez St. location in early 2000s. In February 2015, as Monica was dropping off her daughter at school, she saw that their store had been demolished. The couple said at the time that they were not notified of the demolition and that their lease ran until 2017. The landowner said he and his partner had followed all procedures for the demolition."
Push on to ‘normalize’ minority chambers’ funding (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
"Austin’s four minority group chambers of commerce could see their funding from the city of Austin restructured and made more transparent in the coming budget year, a change that is seen as needed to make the groups more equal. The city’s Economic Prosperity Commission approved a resolution at its meeting last week asking City Council to have the Economic Development Department create a process to determine how the city calculates the size of each of its annual contributions to the budgets of the four chambers that constitute the Multi-Ethnic Chamber Alliance, known as MECA. That group includes the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce."