BG Reads + BG Podcast | News You Need to Know (January 16, 2019)
(RUN TIME - 27:30)
Today's BG Podcast features a conversation with Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan (D6).
Sworn in on January 6, 2017 to a four year term, Council Member Flannigan represents Austin's Council District 6, encompassing Northwest Austin, including both Travis and Williamson Counties.
The Council Member and Bingham Group CEO A.J. Bingham discuss the impact new faces on the Council dais will mean, as well as 2019 policy predictions.
This episode was originally recorded on January 2, 2019.
Mayor Adler Declares 'Austin FC Day' As City Officially Gets Major League Soccer Team (KUT)
Major League Soccer is officially coming to Austin.
"Austin is a perfect fit for Major League Soccer and Major League Soccer is a perfect fit for the city of Austin," MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced at an event today.
Austin FC, the league's 27th team, is expected to begin play at its new McKalla Place stadium in the 2021 season. It will be the city's first professional major league sports team…
Federal Authorities Have Closed Investigation Of The Austin Serial Bomber (KUT)
Federal authorities have closed their investigation into the series of bombings across Austin last year, finding Mark Conditt had no overarching ideological motivation and acted alone.
In a Jan. 10 filing, U.S. Attorney John Bash said law enforcement closed its investigation after finding "no evidence of communications or links between Conditt and any international terror groups or domestic hate groups."
In the early hours of March 21, Conditt detonated an explosive device, killing himself in Round Rock on I-35 after a police pursuit…
Austin’s strategic mobility plan hits home stretch (Austin American-Statesman)
Monday marked milestone for the Austin Transportation Department and its ongoing effort to create a guidepost document that will shepherd transportation development in the city for the next 20-plus years.
Public comment on the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan — or ASMP as it is known at City Hall — closed Sunday. While transportation staffers will still be listening to concerns from the public, Monday brings the beginning of the home stretch for a planning process that has been ongoing for more than two years and has cost roughly $800,000.
The plan is the first all-encompassing, long-term transportation project the city has undertaken since 1995. It will be put to the Austin City Council for approval — likely in the spring — after staffers prepare a final draft in February…
At inauguration, Gov. Greg Abbott promises "we are going to get this done" on school finance and property taxes (Texas Tribune)
On a brisk, cloudy morning, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were sworn in Tuesday to second terms leading the nation’s second-largest state. Amid the pomp and circumstance — the crowd flanked by bands from the state’s two flagship universities; an enormous Texas flag strewn over the north side of the Capitol building; a sea of onlookers, some in Stetson hats, turbans or baseball caps — leaders promised a stern, unified focus on bread-and-butter policy questions.
How can the state better fund an education system for its millions of public school students — while upping pay for hundreds of thousands of teachers? And will this be the year that Texas taxpayers get meaningful relief from a crushing property tax burden?
The state’s top leaders, who have been careful to project a united front on those must-do policy issues, promised that this session will bring satisfying resolution to the concerns they said they’ve heard from taxpayers across the state…
Texas House and Senate about $3 billion apart on public education spending (Texas Tribune)
Almost everyone at the Texas Capitol agrees the state should spend more money on public schools, but for House and Senate leaders, how much is enough? On Tuesday, that became a $3 billion question.
A day after the Texas House unveiled a proposal to pump more than $7 billion in new state funds into public schools, the Texas Senate answered with a budget that would boost the state’s share of public education spending by about $4.3 billion compared with the previous two-year budget cycle.
The two chambers made differing suggestions about how to pay for those reforms, with the Senate favoring a big withdrawal from the state savings account to pay for leftover bills from last session, while the House recommended more modest spending from the state savings account for future expenses…
Roster of District 125 candidates in San Antonio-area special election is set (San Antonio Express-News)
Four Democrats and one Republican will compete to become San Antonio’s newest state representative in a special election next month. The five candidates filed paperwork to appear on the ballot for House District 125 before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
The special election will be Feb. 12, with early voting starting Jan. 28. The seat for the district, which covers a swath of the West and Northwest sides, was left vacant when Justin Rodriguez accepted an appointment to the Bexar County Commissioners Court. The candidates are: Steve Huerta, Democrat, social justice policy adviser; Ray Lopez, Democrat, former city councilman who represented the West Side for eight years; Fred A. Rangel, Republican, small-business owner and former City Council candidate; Coda Rayo-Garza, Democrat, a senior coordinator for the San Antonio Independent School District; and Arthur “Art” Reyna, Democrat, a former state representative for District 125 and Leon Valley city councilman…
D.C. Judge Tells Furloughed Workers They Must Stay On The Job (KUT)
A Washington, D.C., judge ruled Tuesday that furloughed federal workers who are not getting paid because of a government shutdown must continue to do their jobs.
It's a setback for the workers who brought the lawsuit against the Trump administration.
"Calling people back to work, as the federal government is doing, without paying them is unlawful," attorney Gregory O'Duden tells NPR. O'Duden is general counsel for the National Treasury Employees Union that brought the suit in consolidation with a claim from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association…
Court blocks Trump Administration from asking about citizenship in Census (New York Times)
A federal judge blocked the Commerce Department from adding a question on American citizenship to the 2020 census, handing a legal victory on Tuesday to critics who accused the Trump administration of trying to turn the census into a tool to advance Republican political fortunes.
The ruling marks the opening round in a legal battle with potentially profound ramifications for federal policy and for politics at all levels, one that seems certain to reach the Supreme Court before the printing of census forms begins this summer. In a lengthy and stinging opinion, Judge Jesse M. Furman of the United States District Court in Manhattan said that Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the commerce secretary, broke “a veritable smorgasbord” of federal rules when he ordered the citizenship question added to the census nearly a year ago…