BG Reads | News You Need to Know (June 20, 2019)



We’re taking a summer hiatus, so please enjoy some our favorite past episodes in the interim:

BG Podcast Episode 42: A Startup Conversation with Easy Expunctions CEO Yousef Kassim

Bingham Group client Easy Expunctions is a San Antonio-based legal technology start up providing background check and expunction/nondisclosure services.

They were recently one of twelve legal tech startups invited to participate in Duke’s Law Tech Lab.



City to consider Rainey Street closure pilot (Austin Monitor)

City Council directed the city manager Wednesday to immediately initiate a shared streets pilot to improve mobility and safety in the Rainey Street District.

The pilot is to consider restricting vehicle access in some areas to reduce conflicts between cars, pedestrians, bikes and scooters.

Noting that a motorist hit a scooter user earlier this month on Rainey Street that resulted in serious injury, Council Member Pio Renteria said he is most concerned about addressing cases such as that one, which are usually occurring on weekend nights… (LINK TO STORY)

Music advocates push for portion of possible hotel tax increase (Austin Monitor)

Local groups organized around improving the financial standing of Austin musicians are preparing to push city leaders to dedicate funds from the proposed expansion of the Austin Convention Center toward the city’s commercial music industry.

The groups include Music Moves Austin, the Music Venue Alliance and members of the Red River Cultural District. Their initial projections say around $3 million per year from the city’s portion of the Hotel Occupancy Tax could help subsidize touring musicians and reimburse Austin clubs for booking local acts.

That consortium is expected to begin a coordinated campaign, including meetings with City Council members in the coming months, in part to sway thinking on how the hotel tax funds have been used historically… (LINK TO STORY)

Rezoning process for future Rosedale School property rankles some Allandale residents, city council members (Community Impact)

Austin ISD is in the process of building a new $40 million campus for the Rosedale School, which offers educational opportunities for students who have severe special needs.

The Rosedale School—currently located at 2117 W. 49th St.—is scheduled to move in 2021 to a brand new building at the former site of the Lucy Read Pre-K facility at 2608 Richcreek Road in the North Central Austin neighborhood of Allandale.

As part of the project, AISD is in the process of working with an unnamed partner to construct a medical clinic on site at the new school to provide holistic care to both Rosedale School students as well as other severely medically disabled children from the surrounding area… (LINK TO STORY)


Texas Poised To Become National Leader In Solar Power (KUT).

Solar power continues to grow in Texas, new research finds, and that growth is due in part to another renewable energy the state has in abundance: wind.

The Solar Energy Industries Association released a report Tuesday showing that Texas jumped up one place to sixth among states when it comes to solar power production.

SEIA believes Texas will move to second place, behind California, by 2021, as more solar farms are built in West Texas near existing wind farms… (LINK TO STORY)

Texas gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident last year (Texas Tribune)

The gap between Texas’ Hispanic and white populations continued to narrow last year when the state gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident.

With Hispanics expected to become the largest population group in Texas as soon as 2022, new population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed the Hispanic population climbed to nearly 11.4 million — an annual gain of 214,736 through July 2018 and an increase of 1.9 million since 2010.

The white population, meanwhile, grew by just 24,075 last year. Texas still has a bigger white population — up to 11.9 million last year — but it has only grown by roughly 484,000 since 2010. The white population’s growth has been so sluggish this decade that it barely surpassed total growth among Asian Texans, who make up a tiny share of the total population, in the same time period… (LINK TO STORY)

Dallas officials say new Texas laws will cost city $9 million next fiscal year (Dallas Morning News)

Dallas officials say state legislators' crackdown on local control will cost the city about $9 million in revenue in the upcoming fiscal year. And officials expect that number to rise in the following years.

The shortfall is a small part of Dallas' $3.6 billion annual budget, but City Manager T.C. Broadnax told the city's newly elected and re-elected council members Tuesday that the reality is that the city "can't continue to do everything we're doing today." New state laws passed this spring limit the ways cities can collect money to fund services, including revenue from cable TV providers' franchise fees, red-light cameras and property tax collections… (LINK TO STORY)


Trump renews pledge to deport millions, but ICE reality is far more limited (Washington Post)

President Trump has begun his reelection bid by reviving a campaign promise to deport “millions of illegal aliens” from the United States, saying his administration will get to work on that goal “next week” with raids across the country. But the president’s ambitious deportation goals have crashed, again and again, into the earthly reality of the U.S. immigration enforcement system.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is averaging approximately 7,000 deportations per month from the U.S. interior, according to the agency’s latest data. With unauthorized border crossings soaring under Trump to their highest levels in more than a decade, ICE has been facing a shortage of funds and detention beds, and experts say that a large-scale push to arrest and deport hundreds of thousands of migrants would be exorbitantly expensive and highly unlikely… (LINK TO STORY)


Client News: Easy Expunctions Selected for Duke Law Tech Lab

Congratulations to Bingham Group client Easy Expunctions on being one of twelve early-stage legal technology companies selected to participate in Duke Law Tech Lab's summer pre-accelerator program.

Easy Expunctions is a San Antonio-based legal technology start up providing background check and expunction/nondisclosure services.

Their legal records search algorithms allow clients to know what (if any) charges they have against them, and what can be expunged. 

In April 2018 they won Austin-based Capital Factory's $100,000 Startup Challenge. As part of the package, the firm received space at Capital Factory (located in downtown Austin)… (LINK TO POST)

The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.


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