Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003
Quote of the Week: "Moderation and Senate tradition are more important to some than the self-serving, arrogant desires of a Washington power broker. Though Tom DeLay thinks he is mighty special, there is no reason that the Texas Senate has to adopt special rules just for him." -- U.S. Rep. (and original Killer Bee) Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, congratulating his successor Gonzalo Barrientos and the rest of the quorum-breaking, re-redistricting-thwarting Senate Democrats.
Taking a cue from the current Texas Monthly, 11 of 12 Texas Senate Dems are chilling out in New Mexico, while madness grips the Capitol as the second special session begins. See Capitol Chronicle and On the Lege.
Today (Thursday), the release of City Manager Toby Futrell's proposed 2003-04 city budget will put all other city business in the shade for six weeks. The tightest spending plan in memory calls for layoffs, tax hikes, and delaying planned city projects to bridge an expected gap of more than $50 million. See The Budget Battle Begins.
Meanwhile, Travis Co. released its preliminary 2003-04 budget this week, including a planned 6.4% hike to what is already the highest property-tax rate among Texas urban counties, no layoffs, and minor spending cuts. Austin ISD is set to formally present its budget -- already haggled over for months -- this week. More on all the budget battles next week.
Other highlights on today's City Council agenda: a zoning case involving the 200-plus acres owned by Endeavor Real Estate Group adjacent to its planned Domain site in Northwest Austin; changes to the Austin Revitalization Authority master plan for East 11th and 12th streets (see p.16); and naming the planned (but likely to be delayed) Colony Park Recreation Center for longtime Eastside activists Dorothy Turner and the late Velma Roberts.
We figure we should say something here about Bob Hope, since everyone else has (from the Statesman to The Nation). He died.
A reminder: The state's annual sales-tax holiday is this weekend -- from midnight Thursday to midnight Sunday -- so shop hearty. (But not at Wal-Mart.)