Headlines

• City Council takes the week off, returning June 9 for its second to last meeting before a monthlong break. With revisions to Austin's historic zoning program postponed until nearly August, the city's plans for Waller Creek engendered much discussion at last week's council meeting. See "City Hall Hustle."

• Early voting for the June 18 City Council run-off between Randi Shade and Kathie Tovo starts Monday, June 6, and runs through June 14. See voting locations, the Chronicle endorsement, and interviews with both candidates.

• Symbolism: In a PR masterstroke that Kathie Tovo couldn't have bought with any amount of money, the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin is promising: "Catch our Hummer Limo to go early vote a few blocks away" from the group's "Happy Hour for Randi Shade" at Casa Chapala, Monday, June 6, 4-7pm.

• Another piece of East Austin history went the way of the bulldozer this week as angry neighbors cried foul over the city's handling of a 108-year-old home that neighborhood reps had fought to preserve. The home, at 905 Juniper, is owned by the city's Urban Renewal Agency, which obtained a demo permit one day after city officials canceled a meeting with neighborhood reps to discuss other options for the home.

Presidential aspirant Gov. Rick Perry puts in some face time with reporters in the final days of the legislative session.
Presidential aspirant Gov. Rick Perry puts in some face time with reporters in the final days of the legislative session. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

• Just after 5pm on May 30, both chambers of the Texas Legislature adjourned sine die, ending the 82nd regular session. Then they returned at 8am the next morning for the first special session after Gov. Rick Perry called legislators back to work on Medicaid and school finance reform. See "Not So Sine Die" and other Lege coverage.

• Wait, there's more: Less than half a day after the special session began, Gov. Rick Perry also added congressional redistricting to the call. And if you thought things couldn't get much worse, a new Republican-drawn map would carve up Travis County into five congressional districts. Congressman Lloyd Doggett called the map "cunning and malicious." See "Point Austin."

• The Legislature did manage one piece of significant business: The $187 billion state budget, which represents massive and sweeping cuts in almost every area of government, passed on May 28. However, to the surprise of many, the vote was not along straight party lines, with five Republicans voting against it in the House, and both a Democratic senator and a Democratic state rep voting for it.

Will he or won't he? Gov. Perry upgraded his statements on whether he would run for the GOP presidential nomination from "definitely not" to "he could be convinced." The Capitol press corps have already started filling out their travel expense claims forms for a summer trip to Iowa.

Headlines

• Texas' first Republican governor, Bill Clements, died May 29 in Dallas, where a memorial service was scheduled today (Thursday). He was 94. Clements first served from 1979 to 1983, and he returned to the Governor's Office in 1987, serving until 1991.

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