BG Note | News - What We're Reading (August 31, 2017)
Judge temporarily blocks implementation of "sanctuary cities" law (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY
A federal district judge on Wednesday ruled against the state of Texas and halted major provisions of a controversial state-based immigration enforcement law just days before it was scheduled to go into effect.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 4, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s key legislative priorities that seeks to outlaw “sanctuary” entities, the common term for governments that don’t enforce federal immigration laws.
Harvey’s economic impact will be felt statewide, but so will recovery (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
The destruction inflicted by Hurricane Harvey struck at the very heart of the Texas economy, shutting down one of the state’s largest shipping and distribution hubs, laying siege to the capital of its energy industry and pummeling some of its favorite tourist destinations. While most of the economic damage will be temporary – and a massive influx of insurance, federal and other funding will flow in to rebuild – virtually every part of Texas will share at least some part of Harvey’s radiating pain, economists say.
Pence to visit Texas on Thursday (The Hill) LINK TO STORY
Vice President Mike Pence will visit storm-struck areas in Texas on Thursday, as the state grapples with the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Harvey. Pence announced the visit on Wednesday.
Harvey revives flooding concerns about CodeNEXT (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the land use commissions questioned staff on how CodeNEXT would address local flooding at their Aug. 29 joint meeting. “Austin came real close to having another catastrophe this (past) weekend. Real close,” Zoning and Platting Commissioner Ana Aguirre said at the meeting.
The storm event has opened up a national conversation on how city planning contributes to flooding, particularly in the case of impervious cover. As cities like Houston or Austin continue to develop, the inevitable result is more runoff after rainfall.
Housing advocates want a bigger housing bond (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
With Austin facing an affordable housing crisis, city leaders are hoping that taxpayers will OK tens of millions of dollars to fund the construction of low-cost apartments and houses as well as repairs to homes for Austin’s low-income and working-class population.
Right now, the figure proposed is $85 million. That’s what city staff presented to the Bond Election Advisory Task Force as part of a broader $640 million general obligation bond that City Council is planning on putting on the November 2018 ballot for voters to approve. The bond also includes major spending on parks, stormwater infrastructure, improvements to municipal facilities and transportation.
AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
The Austin City Council will convene at 10:00 AM today at Austin City Hall (301 W. Second Street)