BG Reads | News You Need to Know (June 14, 2019)

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[AUSTIN METRO]

Street impact fees making their way back to Council (Austin Monitor)

Austin Transportation is proposing a one-time street impact fee for new developments to help the city pay for its growth in an equitable and transparent way.

After releasing a draft study earlier this week explaining how fees would be calculated and used, ATD staff joined the Mobility Committee on Thursday to provide further context.

Liane Miller, a senior business process consultant with ATD, said the calculation is essentially based on the city’s growth projections and roadway capacity projects.

“Very simply,” she said, “you take the cost of all of the projects, you divide it by the growth in terms of new service units – what is the new vehicle miles that has been generated by that growth – and that’s what gets you a maximum fee in each service area.”… (LINK TO STORY)


Austin FC fans place season ticket deposits for more than 30,000 seats in first day (Community Impact)

Austin FC opened season ticket membership deposits June 12 for fans hoping to secure a spot in line when the Major League Soccer club posts season tickets for sale.

Austin FC secured deposits for more than 30,000 seats between June 12 at 10 a.m. when sales began and June 13 at 1 p.m., according to a release from the club.

The membership deposits ranged from $50 for general seating to $100 for premium seats and are fully refundable. When the club begins selling season tickets at a to-be-determined date in the future, the deposits can be converted for up to eight tickets. The volume of requests led the club’s website to briefly crash just after the deposits went on sale the morning of June 12… (LINK TO STORY)


Noting 'Good Work' Of School Staff, Austin ISD Superintendent Proposes Across-The-Board Pay Raises (KUT)

The Austin Independent School District wants to give 7% raises to teachers with five or more years of experience and a 6% raise to all other staff, Superintendent Paul Cruz announced Thursday. Staff includes cafeteria workers and bus drivers, in addition to principals and administrative workers.

“We do notice the good work our teachers and our principals do every single day,” Cruz said at a press conference.

Before the end of the legislative session, the district was prepared to give only a 1% raise to teachers and no raise to support staff. Education Austin, the union for AISD employees, pushed back and demanded a 10% raise for everyone… (LINK TO STORY)


[TEXAS] 

Abbott Extends State Plumbing Board Until 2021 After Legislature Abolished It (KUT)

Heading off the prospect of anyone in Texas being able to call themselves a plumber, Gov. Greg Abbott extended the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners until 2021 Thursday via an executive order.

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners was on track to shut down by Sept. 1, 2020, after the Texas Legislature failed to extend its life during the 86th legislative session that ended last month. The board is responsible for licensing plumbers and investigating any claims of unlicensed work or violations of the plumbing licensing law. In the weeks since, some had called on Abbott to call a special session to extend the agency. Earlier this month, he tweeted that his office had a way to extend the agency without calling lawmakers back to Austin… (LINK TO STORY)


As Gov. Abbott signs property tax bill, city officials grapple with implications (Austin American-Statesman)

The Legislature’s high-profile effort to limit the growth of property taxes is now law — and city officials across Texas are grappling with the implications for everything from park fees to police pay. Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday lent his signature to Senate Bill 2, the centerpiece to a plan by top policymakers to lessen the burden of property taxes, a fundamental source of money for cities, counties and school districts to meet their budgets.

But even as Abbott cheered the new law, city officials in fast-growing parts of the state, including Central Texas, were wrestling with how to meet projected future budget shortfalls. Among rising costs are base salaries, expected to increase by 4% to 5% a year, she said, to keep pace with the booming economy. Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan told the American-Statesman that the city will examine admission and use fees at recreation centers, sports fields and a city water park to ensure they cover the cost of service — which isn’t the case now, he said… (LINK TO STORY)


Did Texas make it too easy for parents to opt out of vaccines? (Texas Tribune)

As measles cases hit a 25-year high in the United States, Texas medical experts fear the state could see the next outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease. Texas has reported 15 confirmed cases of measles so far in 2019, six more than in all of 2018.

Health officials are watching pockets of Texas closely because of the number of parents requesting exemptions under Texas’s broad vaccine exemption law. Texas is one of 16 states that allow parents to bypass vaccine requirements for enrolling their kids in school by claiming a conscientious exemption, along with citing medical or religious concerns. Just last month, Washington ended conscientious exemptions on the heels of a large measles outbreak with over 70 reported cases. Three states — California, West Virginia and Mississippi — only allow medical exemptions… (LINK TO STORY)


Dallas Latino police chapter calls for Chief Hall to go, while black officers group backs the boss (Dallas Morning News)

One of Dallas’ officer associations on Wednesday called for Police Chief U. Renee Hall’s resignation, citing a vote of no confidence by its members. The National Latino Law Enforcement Organization’s Greater Dallas chapter President George Aranda, a sergeant, said the department has suffered under what he called Hall’s “lack of leadership.”

Hall did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday. Aranda declined to show full details of the vote and the size of the group’s membership. But his call for Hall’s ouster comes amid increasing scrutiny of the chief in recent weeks as a violent crime spike, highlighted by a sharp rise in homicides, strained the already short-staffed department…(LINK TO STORY)


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Episode 50 - Featuring New Senior Consultant Tina Bui

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A BIG THANKS to all our past guests, listeners, and the team who makes the show possible!

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