BG Note | News - What We're Reading (February 16, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Council approves paid sick leave ordinance (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Shortly after midnight on Friday, Austin became the first city in the South to require employers to provide workers with paid sick leave.

The ordinance, authored largely by City Council Member Greg Casar, will require businesses and nonprofits to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Workers at employers with more than five employees will be able to accrue up to eight days of paid sick leave, while those at smaller employers will accrue up to six. The smaller employers will also not be subject to the new rules until October 2020, as opposed to October 2018 for the rest...

Austin City Council approves up to $300k to replace security boxes in apartments, commercial buildings after burglaries (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The Austin City Council approved a plan Thursday to replace security boxes in apartments and commercial buildings across the city, months after police investigators said one of the master keys first responders use was likely stolen and used in burglaries.
Per the council’s direction, the overhaul is not to exceed $300,000, which is how much city staffers estimated it would cost to purchase lock boxes, keys and related services to replace these security systems...

Free electric cab service expands into downtown Austin, sees success at Domain Northside (Community Impact)

After successfully launching its free first-mile, last-mile service at Domain Northside in November, Electric Cab of North America has expanded the service to the downtown Austin area.
“Initially the company was created because I worked at the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin and … I couldn’t get anyone to give me a ride for under a mile,” Electric Cab CEO Chris Nielsen said.
Electric Cab of North America, formerly called Electric Cab of Austin, is a microtransit transportation provider based in Austin that focuses on offering last-mile service from a rail or rapid bus station to a rider’s workplace, home or shopping destination...

City exploring solutions for creative spaces crisis (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The city is looking at a variety of strategies for assisting creative businesses and nonprofit organizations that are increasingly being priced out of theaters and other spaces due to Austin’s fast-rising cost of living. At its Thursday meeting, City Council unanimously passed a resolution that directs city staff to research five economic development and policy tools that could make the real estate environment more favorable for arts groups and increase revenues for working artists...


Delivery app Favor agrees to buyout by HEB (Austin Business Journal) LINK TO STORY

Delivery app Favor is being acquired by HEB Grocery Co., the Austin area's dominant grocery chain.

The Austin-based startup, which operates legally as NeighborFavor Inc., has carved out a lucrative niche in the hyper-competitive realm of on-demand delivery. But with mergers and consolidations roiling the sector, Favor is taking shelter as a subsidiary of one of the most recognizable companies in the state...

Republican state Rep. Sarah Davis on voting for Gov. Greg Abbott: "It'll be hard to do that." (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, said Thursday that she won't support a Democrat for Texas governor in 2018 but can't commit to voting for her fellow Republican Greg Abbott. “It'll be hard to do that,” she said of supporting the incumbent governor who has worked hard to unseat her in this year's Republican primary. "I would most likely just not vote." Davis made the comments during a morning interview in Austin with The Texas Tribune's CEO, Evan Smith...

Texas Ranks Near Bottom for Political Participation and Civic Involvement (UT News) LINK TO STORY

As early voting is set to begin in the Texas primaries, new data from The University of Texas at Austin finds that Texas continues to have one of the nation’s lowest rates of political and civic participation.
The report — completed by UT Austin’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, the National Conference on Citizenship and the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service — is an update to the Texas Civic Health Index, a nonpartisan, comprehensive evaluation of community and political engagement throughout the state...

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