Headlines / Quote of the Week
Here We Go Again Governor Greg Abbott announced the Texas Legislature will convene for a special session on July 8, although Abbott's office did not release an agenda of legislative priorities. Another, separate session is expected sometime later this fall, which Abbott has said previously will address redistricting and divvying up $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
Settlement for Survivors: The Travis County Commissioners Court approved a $580,000 settlement in the ongoing legal battle between more than 12 sexual assault survivors/plaintiffs and the city and county over allegations that local officials failed to investigate and prosecute sexual assault cases. Read more.
Sixth St. Shake Up: Charges against 17-year-old Jeremiah Tabb and an unnamed minor have been dropped in connection to the June 12 mass shooting on Sixth Street that killed visiting tourist Douglas Kantor and injured at least a dozen other people. Authorities said a new arrest warrant has been issued for De'ondre Jermirris White, who will be charged with murder. Read more.
Until Then, H.A.G.S.: Austin ISD announced the district won't offer a virtual learning option for the 2021-22 school year and all students will return to in-person instruction on campus this fall. See online.
Precinct 4 Rematch: Margaret Gómez will be seeking another term as Travis County Commissioner for Precinct 4. Gómez, who has represented Southeast Travis County for more than two decades, has drawn a familiar challenger: Susanna Woody, a longtime Del Valle ISD Board trustee and president of the Del Valle Community Coalition, who ran unsuccessfully against Gómez in the 2018 Democratic primary.
One More Time: U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett unveiled legislation that would allow local jurisdictions to pursue Medicaid expansion in states that have declined to expand Medicaid, including Texas and 11 others. If enacted, the COVER Now Act would also allow participating entities to receive the same federal matching rate as states who expand the program.
News From the Tower: Sharon Wood, currently dean of UT-Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering, has been appointed provost and executive vice president of the university. Wood begins her new role on July 19 and will replace interim Provost Dan Jaffe.
At Last, Waterloo Has Come Along: Downtown's revamped Waterloo Park will open Aug. 14, after being closed to the public for 10 years. Operated by Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, the 11-acre park features a 5,000-capacity outdoor concert space, the Moody Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre's first concert is Aug. 20 with Gary Clark Jr.
Quote of the Week
"Governor Abbott, fix the damn grid."
– Mike Collier, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, on Abbott’s special session announcement (see above)