BG Note | News - What We're Reading (August 2, 2017)


Rep. Dawnna Dukes doesn't respond to Travis County DA's offer (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

"The Travis County District Attorney's office on Tuesday said its offer to drop all corruption charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, in exchange for her agreeing to resign immediately had expired. In a statement sent to The Texas Tribune after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said she'd had no contact from the attorneys for Dukes. 'The offer to resolve this matter has expired and is no longer available,' Moore said in a statement. 'We will be ready for trial.'"


Link to Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) House Profile

Dawnna Dukes’ new attorney calls DA’s offer ‘absurd’ (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

"Her attorney, Rene Oliveira, a state representative from Brownsville, issued a statement to various media outlets calling a condition in the deal that Dukes be assessed for drug and alcohol issues “unacceptable” and “absurd.”
“Because of certain communication issues with her attorneys, my client just received the recent proposal via letter on Monday, July 31, 2017,” Oliveira said. “Ms. Dukes again strongly reiterates her innocence and rejects the latest proposal which has an even more unacceptable condition than the previously rejected proposals. The inexplicable request that she undergo some drug assessment is absurd, and shame on the DA’s office for even suggesting such a condition. Neither Ms. Dukes, nor her attorneys, have any further comment on this matter, and she looks forward to her day in court.”


Link to Rep. Rene Oliveira's (D-Brownsville) House Profile

Halfway through special session, Patrick wants "better communications" with House (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

"Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick marked the halfway point of the special session Tuesday by calling for "better communications" with the House, which has moved much slower on Gov. Greg Abbott's agenda than Patrick's Senate has." 

Hays County Judge Bert Cobb taking leave to battle leukemia (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

"After finishing the last item on Tuesday’s agenda with a reminder for residents to conserve water and keep trash out of streams, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb closed the meeting with a stunning personal announcement.

“I have been diagnosed with a lethal disease, and I will be entering treatment hopefully next week,” Cobb said as members of the audience gasped, according to a video of the Hays County Commissioners Court meeting.

Council begins movement on stalled special events ordinance (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

"Roughly four years after it was created, the city is moving forward with a new ordinance governing special events that, among other things, is intended to make the application process easier to navigate.' At Tuesday’s work session, City Council received a presentation on the special events ordinance that was called for by a Council resolution in 2012 and even given a first reading approval in October of 2013... The ordinance loosens the definition of what constitutes a special event, raising the threshold to 100 attendees in a move designed to make it easier for neighborhood gatherings and block parties to take place without navigating the approval process."

Measure seeks ways to spread affordable housing more evenly across Austin (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

"City Council is set to take up a measure Thursday to encourage development of affordable housing to be more evenly dispersed throughout the city. Low-income housing tends to be built in higher-poverty areas on the outer edges of the city. Rental housing that’s affordable to people earning $25,000 or less a year is scarce or nonexistent in many of Austin’s wealthiest neighborhoods. A resolution proposed by Council Member Greg Casar asks city staff to look into ways to get more tax credits to developers with projects in moderate- or high-income areas."


Link to Resolution (Note: Language my change prior and during Council hearing)

Council wades nervously into pools plan (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

"City Council delivered decidedly mixed reviews of the Parks and Recreation Department’s recently unveiled Aquatic Master Plan, with some Council members decrying what they fear is a plan to shut down neighborhood pools and others bemoaning the unequal distribution of facilities throughout the city. Acting Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley kicked off the discussion at yesterday’s Council work session with a lengthy presentation describing the sorry state of many of the city’s pools."


See, Austin pools face major problems (Austin Monitor, 7/27/17)