Government

Government
3:01 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

West, Texas Approved For Major Disaster Relief Funding

Gov. Rick Perry at a press conference addressing the explosion in West, Texas.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The governor’s office has announced the town of West will receive major disaster funding following an appeal of FEMA’s original decision to deny the town federal relief.

Early this summer, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced they would not be awarding the town of West major disaster relief following the massive fertilizer plant explosion that took out much of the area’s roads, schools and water system.

That original ruling has been reversed.

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Special Session
2:03 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

House Panel Approves Transportation Funding Bill With Amended Changes

Chris Eudaily TPR News

A transportation panel of seven state representatives heard from the head of the Texas Department of Transportation about the transportation bill that passed the Senate and how it will benefit the State Highway Fund beyond the next two years.

"If we don’t increase our resources now, our production in dollar terms will fall to levels not seen since the early 2000s," said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. "Meanwhile, more and more people move to Texas [and] congestion worsens."

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City Government
1:36 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

New Ordinance Changes Vehicle-For-Hire Regulations, Including Horse-Drawn Carriages

City of San Antonio

Following a month-long summer break, the San Antonio City Council reconvened Thursday and quickly got down to business, passing a new vehicle-for-hire ordinance that takes effect in two weeks.

More than 40 citizens signed up to speak on a proposal to update the city’s vehicle-for-hire ordinance, which among other regulations would:

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Government
12:05 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

New Committee Formed To Help Reduce Ethical Conflicts In City Contracts

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal was named chair of a new committee that will examine high profile contracts to help avoid conflicts of interest.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

In a memo to the San Antonio City Council and city staff, Mayor Julián Castro announced the appointments of the council to the various council sub-committees. Each committee hears issues before they reach the full city council.

The memo included the announcement of a new committee called the High Profile Contracts Accountability, which will check over high-profile contracts and monitor vendor performance on those contracts.

The addition of an ethics-based committee is a reinforcement by Castro in light of recent ethics lapses inside City Hall.

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Special Session Part III
11:05 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Missing Lawmakers May Bring Third Special Session To A Halt

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Just after the start of the third special session of the 83rd Texas Legislature, Speaker of the House Rep. Joe Straus of San Antonio excused over 35 members because of pressing business in their individual districts.

A transportation bill that passed the Senate this week will require 100 votes in the House in order to pass, but the missing members will likely keep the bill from getting enough votes to pass.

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Government
2:55 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Will The Junior Senator From Texas Make A Run For The White House?

cc Wikipedia Commons

Although he has denied any attempt at a presidential run, the chairman of the Texas Republican Party says odds are in U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s favor for a presidential run.  

Cruz is part of a group of Republicans touring America’s primary states and drumming up support for the party.  Even though Sen. Cruz says repeatedly his tour has nothing to do with a 2016 presidential run, Steve Munisteri, chair of the GOP in Texas, says the junior senator is quickly positioning himself as a national leader.

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Transportation
2:08 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Speaker Of The House Calls Transportation Bill A “Band-Aid Over A Pothole”

Larry D. Moore Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

A struggling transportation bill during a third special session is losing more and more support, including that of Joe Straus, Texas’ Speaker of the House.  

Less than a day into the summer’s third special session, the Texas Senate gave its approval to a transportation bill that failed to pass during a regular session and two consecutive special sessions.  But that bill faces an uphill climb in the Texas House, including how the bill is viewed by Straus.

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City Council
11:45 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Ethics Panel Clears Nirenberg Of Allegations

A panel cleared District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg of any ethics violations relating to a case brought forward by John Yoggerst.
Ron Nirenberg for City Council District 8 Facebook

A panel made up of San Antonio's Ethics Review Board members this week found that District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg did not violate the city's ethics code.

The complaint was brought to the board by John Yoggerst, who believed Nirenberg accepted in-kind services from NSIDE Publications with a full spread about Nirenberg as a council candidate.

ERB member Robert Piatt says there is no evidence to suggest Nirenberg paid for the publicity.

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Government
4:56 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

New Anti-Discrimination Proposal Likely To Get Separate Votes

Supporters of an anti-discrimination ordinance proposal chanted outside City Hall in May.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal’s proposed anti-discrimination ordinance will likely pass, he said, but councilman, who is also a civil rights attorney, wants to separate how it will be voted on.

His proposal is to include protections for gender identity, sexual orientation and veterans within the city’s hiring practices and to those with whom the city chooses to do business.

He said his intentions all along were to separate the vote into two proposals: one for gender identity and sexual orientation, and another for veterans.

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Government
1:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Next Round Of San Antonio Budget Hearings Set To Begin

Mayor Julian Castro talks with supporters following his State of the City address at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. He and the council will hear a final proposed budget on Aug. 8 before final adoption on Sept. 12.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

The San Antonio City Council will again hear from city staff on a proposed budget that has a budget gap of up to $50 million dollars.

For that reason, city manager Sheryl Sculley and her team have been meeting with each city department and going over their programs to figure out how to close that gap.

Sculley says she will not reduce the most important city services to the public, including police and fire protection. That was also the request of city council members who outlined their priorities for the budget last month.

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