• Council also convened Wednesday to receive the five-year financial forecast, annual precursor to the city's budget season. The rosy news? Even with boosting property taxes by 3 cents to the maximum rate without an election, the city is nearly $10 million in the hole. See "City Hall Hustle."
• State representatives will debate their own future April 26 when they take up House Bill 150, the House redistricting map. As proposed, the new district lines make very few changes in Travis County, but there are concerns that they create too few Hispanic opportunity districts statewide. See "Wiping Doggett Off the Map."
• Wildfires all across Texas have ravaged more than 1 million acres and destroyed hundreds of homes during the last week, with little rainfall relief on the horizon to deflect the damage a single spark can produce.
• The Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation has announced that the 2011 parade will be not be held on its usual date in June but will take place on Sept. 10, the same weekend as the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival. Other cities, including Dallas, have already moved their Pride celebrations away from the June 28 anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Meanwhile, relatively new kid QueerBomb will celebrate Pride on June 3 with a rally, march, and series of parties across town. See "The Gay Place," for more.
• The father of an Austin teen has been charged in the double homicide of Maria Hurtado and her daughter Norma Hurtado, who were killed in their southeast Austin home on Tuesday; police say Jose Alfonso Aviles shot the pair out of anger over his daughter's relationship with Norma. Prosecutors are weighing whether to classify the double murder as a hate crime.
• The Senate Committee on Finance is debating Senate Bill 1811; it would create $4 billion in extra revenue for the next biennium – but most of the savings, including delaying payments from the Permanent School Fund and speeding up sales tax collections, simply move the money between accounting years rather than creating new cash.
• Bunk, you say? When it comes to slashing state spending, Gov. Rick Perry doesn't even listen to warnings from his own number-crunchers. Perry has called the Legislative Budget Board's calculations that the House draft budget will destroy 335,000 jobs, including 146,000 in the private sector, "a bunch of bunk."
• April 20 marked the first anniversary of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the deaths of 11 workers and the worst oil spill in U.S. history. So far there have been no criminal prosecutions or changes to the law regarding drilling off the continental shelf.