City Council meets today (Dec. 1) with a light agenda and two members (Mayor Steve Adler, Council Member Sabino Renteria) in Mexico on a trade and environmental action mission. The shorthanded Council will consider a revised policy on harassment of and discrimination against city employees, among other things. See "Council: Race to the Finish."
Filed bills continue to accumulate in anticipation of the new Legislature. Houston Sen. Paul Bettencourt proposed a 4% cap on city property tax increases – half the current cap of 8%. Mayors of Austin, San Antonio, San Marcos, and New Braunfels said the cap would "severely impact" basic services while failing to provide significant tax relief.
Art Acevedo was officially sworn in as Houston's new police chief on Wednesday. His longtime chief of staff Brian Manley takes over as interim chief of Austin PD on Thursday.
Geoffrey Freeman, the Austin Police officer fired in March for the February fatal shooting of David Joseph, goes to arbitration Monday, Dec. 5, to appeal his termination.
"Stop Tweeting." That was the message from Sen. Konni Burton, R-Fort Worth, to President-elect Donald Trump after he suggested flag-burners should lose their citizenship. In a sign Trump may clash with ideological Republicans, Burton also warned that Trump's commitment to business incentives smacks of political cronyism.
Who needs Obamacare? Texas. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that 2.1 million Americans selected health insurance through HealthCare.gov since open enrollment began on Nov. 1, including 220,379 Texans.
Charlie Strong is out as Texas Longhorns football coach after only three years of a five-season contract. He was quickly replaced by University of Houston coach (and former graduate assistant coach at UT under Mack Brown) Tom Herman.
Texas Monthly has a new editor-in-chief. On Tuesday, chairman and CEO Paul Hobby announced that Tim Taliaferro will take over management of the magazine from Brian Sweany. Taliaferro had previously served as VP of communications and digital strategy for Texas Exes as well as editor in chief of Alcalde, UT's alumni mag.
It's Good to be Governor: Gov. Greg Abbott's latest tax returns show he and his wife Cecilia paid no (that's zero) federal income tax for 2015. In fact, with major deductions for mortgage interest and property tax, they are due for a $27,059 refund. In 2014, the Abbotts paid a paltry $104 in federal income tax.