An Austin City Council member is suing the city of Austin, claiming its restrictions on campaign contributions and rollover campaign funds are arbitrary and unjustifiable.

District 6 Councilmember Don Zimmerman, who was chosen at random to serve a two-year rather than a four-year term on City Council, is running for re-election, according to the suit. The next City Council election is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2016.

In a lawsuit filed July 28 in a U.S. District Court, Zimmerman claims he should legally be allowed to start fundraising immediately, and the city has no right to impose limits on donations to Zimmerman’s campaign that come from individuals and associations that cannot vote in city elections, such as nonresidents or individuals who are not registered to vote.

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CARTS

The Capital Area Rural Transportation System, known as CARTS, provides rural transportation services in nine counties including Travis County. Courtesy Dana Platt

The Travis County Commissioners Court heard July 28 from a local transportation group that wants increased funding for fiscal year 2016.

The Capital Area Rural Transportation System, known as CARTS, provides rural transportation services in nine counties including Travis County. Indigent and other qualified residents of rural Travis County can access transportation to and from health clinics, doctor appointments, community and senior centers and CARTS Neighborhood Centers in locations such as Pflugerville and Oak Hill.

CARTS General Manager David Marsh told commissioners service has been provided to Travis County since the late ’70s, but it needs more funding and has been working with partners at Capital Metro, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Lone Star Rail District and community members to determine solutions. Its funding comes from TxDOT’s rural transit grant program, he said, noting areas that are considered “urbanized” do not receive federal funds to support CARTS.

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