BG Note | News - What We're Reading (March 6, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Anti-CodeNext PAC says it has enough signatures to force a vote (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The group pushing for CodeNext to be placed on the ballot announced Monday night that they have the signatures to trigger an election.
At Austin Energy’s headquarters, organizers from IndyAustin, the billboard company-backed political action committee that began the petition effort, announced that in the past six month, its volunteers and staff have gathered about 24,700 signatures. About 20,000 signatures are needed to trigger an election.
IndyAustin’s head, Bastrop resident Linda Curtis, said they will file when they collect 28,300 signatures to ensure that they have at least 20,000 valid signatures. Curtis said she aims to file petitions with the Austin City Clerk’s office on March 22...

Pols, industry vets join forces to lead Austin music economy (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Under the aegis of one of Austin’s most successful entrepreneurs, a collective of some of the city’s most entrenched business and government leaders has set its sights on keeping Austin’s music community from being priced out of existence.
The group known as ALL ATX Leadership was launched in January by Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams Realty and a vocal supporter of Austin musicians and venues...

Austin’s community solar program comes to light (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

For years, people have lamented that although the sun shines at no cost, it is cost prohibitive to redirect its energy from the outdoors and into your home. Even if Austinites want to implement solar technology, they must contend with tree cover, roof maintenance issues and significant upfront costs.
Last year, to help alleviate some of the financial concerns from those who want to implement solar energy, City Council passed an ordinance that set a goal for Austin Energy to spend $500,000 in 2018 to help increase access to solar energy for underserved markets...

Ohio, Columbus file lawsuit aimed to stop Columbus Crew move to Austin (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Ohio government officials are hoping a state revised code passed in 1996 will help them keep a Major League Soccer franchise that began play that same year.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the city of Columbus announced Monday that they have filed a lawsuit against Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt and Major League Soccer aimed to keep the team from moving to Austin...

Experts Say Electronic Voting Machines Aren't Secure. So Travis County Is Designing Its Own. (KUT) LINK TO STORY

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir has spent more than a decade working with researchers and computer security experts to design a voting machine that’s more secure and reliable.
This massive undertaking resulted in the Secure, Transparent, Auditable, and Reliable Voting System, or STAR-Vote. But getting manufacturers to build it has been a challenge...


5 races to watch in the Texas primaries (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Tuesday is primary election day in Texas. Here are five races to watch...

Supreme Court backs Texas, U.S. positions in New Mexico water fight (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

In Texas’ long-running fight with New Mexico over Rio Grande water rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the federal government has a right to intervene in the dispute — a position backed by Texas officials.

The legal dispute erupted in 2013, when a Texas complaint argued that New Mexico was violating terms of the 1938 Rio Grande Compact, a Congress-approved agreement that divided the river’s water rights for users in the two states and Colorado. Texas officials claimed that New Mexico violated the compact by allowing water allocated to Texas to instead be pumped from an area below the Elephant Butte reservoir, about 125 miles northwest of El Paso...

End is near in bruising, expensive Huffines-Paxton battle (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Nearly a year ago, Phillip Huffines began a campaign for Texas Senate District 8, betting that the incumbent would vacate the seat to run for Congress and that Huffines, a deep-pocketed businessman, had a chance to clear the field. One of those things came true: As widely expected, state Sen. Van Taylor launched a bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano. The other thing — not so much. After two other Plano Republicans, state Reps. Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen, considered running and ultimately opted out, an unexpected name surfaced: Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, who previously held that seat...


Action on guns and immigration screeches to a halt in Congress (The Hill) LINK TO STORY

Legislating on Capitol Hill is quickly screeching to a halt, despite loud calls for action on guns and immigration. Even as student survivors of last month's mass shooting at a Florida high school clamor for action on gun control and young “Dreamers” converge on Congress to protest their possible deportation, Republicans in the House are pivoting to messaging bills and away from the hot-button issues that have dominated the first two months of the year.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled that his chamber would not take up gun reform this week. Instead, the Senate will take up a banking reform bill, even after President Trump challenged lawmakers to pass a sweeping background checks bill in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla...

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