BG Note | News - What We're Reading (February 8, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Days away from new draft, city commissions give their last word on CodeNEXT (for now) (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Less than a week out from the release of the latest version of CodeNEXT, city commissions are weighing in on what they’d like to see in this latest draft of Austin’s Land Development Code.

The Zoning and Platting Commission laid out its plan Tuesday for gathering public feedback on the new rules, which would regulate everything from parking requirements to the types of housing that can be built in Austin. Commissioners want to hold at least two public meetings in different parts of town, possibly holding a combined hearing with the city’s Planning Commission.

ZAP Commissioner David King also stressed the need for enough time to review the new rules...

Editorial - Phillips: Austin’s paid sick-leave plan is rushed. No wonder it’s unfair (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Council Member Greg Casar’s proposed new ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for workers is simply written — not in the bureaucratese of most ordinances that originate with city government.
But make no mistake: It represents a seismic change in the way many companies do business in Austin. One would think that such a major shift encompassed in an ordinance that affects all employers — be they companies with 1,000 or more workers, or small businesses with fewer than five employees — would benefit from meaningful public engagement...

City unveils proposed Corridor Construction Program (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY 

The long-awaited proposed Corridor Construction Program, the road map to Mayor Steve Adler’s Smart Corridor Plan that he’s now touting as potentially “genius,” is finally out of the stable.
The city’s Corridor Program Office has been working to develop the program voters approved in the record $720 million mobility bond in November 2016 that set aside $482 million for projects along nine of Austin’s busiest corridors.
In its so-called contract with voters, City Council pledged to have those projects completed within eight years of the vote, a compressed timeline given the unprecedented scale of the work to be done...

The Austin people have spoken through six resolutions on displacement and gentrification (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

In Austin, it appears that the people have a plan. This past Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Susana Almanza of People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER) and Fred McGhee of Preserve Rosewood revealed the People’s Plan: a group of six resolutions/draft ordinances that are aimed at creating solutions for displacement and gentrification.
These resolutions are part of Austin’s Poor People’s Campaign, which is a reinvigorated branch of the national 1968 campaign that strove to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States...


With latest attack ad, Abbott builds on six-figure push to unseat GOP state Rep. Sarah Davis (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is sparing no expense — or attack — as he works to unseat a fellow Republican, state Rep. Sarah Davis of West University Place. After spending six figures in January on ads for her primary challenger, Susanna Dokupil, Abbott is launching a third TV ad in the district, one that solely criticizes Davis without mentioning Dokupil — and doubles down on a line of attack that Davis has already called the "most disingenuous" one she's ever seen.
"She twists and turns to hide how liberal she really is," a narrator says in the 30-second spot, which features images of Davis on a spinning coin. "Sarah Davis: not just a liberal — a liberal you can’t trust."...

U.S. judge says ‘telling evidence’ against Uresti, denies request to acquit (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY 

Senior U.S District Judge David Ezra denied requests by lawyers for state Sen. Carlos Uresti and co-defendant Gary Cain to acquit the two men accused of defrauding investors, saying there was “a lot of telling evidence” against Uresti. The motions for acquittal came Wednesday outside the jury’s presence after federal prosecutors rested their case on Day 13 of the criminal trial against the two.
Ezra, in issuing his ruling, said the law requires him to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the government at this stage of the trial. “We have a witness who said Mr. Uresti flat out said he put his own money into” oilfield company FourWinds Logistics, Ezra said...


U.S. Senate strikes deal on disaster funding that will help Harvey victims (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

The wait appears to have been worth it for Texans worried about whether the federal government would come through on a major spending effort on Hurricane Harvey. U.S. Senate leaders have announced a deal to fund the government for the next two years that would include nearly $90 billion in disaster aid for states hit hard by hurricanes and wildfires over the last year.

Disaster funding has languished for months. The House passed an $81 billion recovery bill that stalled in the Senate in December. Anxiety increased among House lawmakers from Texas and Florida who anxiously watched as the issue appeared to fade in relevance in the Senate — and in the national discourse...

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