BG Note | News - What We're Reading (March 28, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Adler to developers: CodeNEXT must provide more housing (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Mayor Steve Adler told members of Austin’s real estate industry Tuesday that the city is making it easier to build and that he hopes the potential overhaul of the city’s Land Development Code will allow for much greater density on the city’s transportation corridors.
At a luncheon hosted by the Real Estate Council of Austin at the JW Marriott downtown, Adler touted improvements in the city’s permitting process. For instance, the average wait time for a site plan consultation with city staff has decreased from 36 minutes to nine minutes, he said...

Austin mayoral candidate Laura Morrison lays out her campaign platform (CommunityImpact) LINK TO STORY

Former Austin City Council member and now mayoral candidate Laura Morrison held her campaign kickoff party Monday night where she briefly laid out a three-part platform.
The event to support the former two-term council member in her mayoral bid attracted an audience between 80 and 100 people to Threadgill’s World Headquarters that included many familiar faces from the Austin Neighborhoods Council. After taking several jabs at her opponent, incumbent Mayor Steve Adler, Morrison told the crowd that her campaign would aim to create to a “viable future for all of us,” and would thus focus on three things.

Support gathering to boost affordable housing bonds to $300 million (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

For Austin voters this November, it could be go big or go home on a city bond proposition for affordable housing.
A volunteer task force has recommended the city put the largest affordable housing bond proposition ever on that ballot at a $161 million price tag.
But Tuesday, two council members signaled their willingness to go deeper by increasing the housing bonds to $300 million or more...

Conditt roommate knew nothing about Austin bombings, attorney says (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Though U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul signaled Monday that one of Austin bomber Mark Conditt’s roommates remains a “person of interest” in the case, representatives of the roommates say the two men know nothing about the bombings.
Austin attorney Charlie Baird, who represents one roommate, said he thinks police do not intend to pursue charges against his client, who he said had no knowledge that he was living with a man responsible for a series of blasts that killed two people...


Analysis: Adding a citizenship question to the census could screw over Texas (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Counting is one thing. Culling is something else entirely.
As the federal government prepares for its once-every-decade count of the U.S. population, it has decided to ask residents whether they are U.S. citizens or not. At a time when immigration and sanctuary cities top Republican lists of political concerns, that question has less to do with counting and more to do with culling.
Including that question could be a strong disincentive for some respondents to even talk to a census worker, if they feel that answering in the negative — “Not a U.S. citizen” — might expose them to legal consequences. Being counted is one thing. Volunteering for immigration scrutiny is another...


Blue states sue Trump over census citizenship question (The Hill) LINK TO STORY

Democratic attorneys general in several states said Tuesday they would bring legal action to stop the Trump administration from adding a question on citizenship to the next U.S. census, a question they said would lead to serious undercounts that could reverberate for years to come. The administration said late Tuesday it would include a question on the decennial survey that would ask whether respondents are American citizens.
That question has not appeared on a census questionnaire since 1950. Civil rights groups and Democrats in blue states said the question, combined with the Trump administration’s hostile attitude toward immigrants, could lead to undocumented immigrants avoiding the census altogether, creating an underestimation of the number of residents who live in certain states...

Trump privately presses for military to pay for border wall (Washington Post) LINK TO STORY

President Trump, who repeatedly insisted during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for a wall along the southern border, is privately pushing the U.S. military to fund construction of his signature project. Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall. He has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and congressional leaders that the Pentagon could fund the sprawling project, citing a “national security” risk.
After floating the notion to several advisers last week, Trump told House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the idea, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect...

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