Updates from your state legislators

Sen. Kirk Watson • District 14

Sen. Kirk Watson • District 14Recent activity:
SB 1032 would allow state employees to work flexible hours or to work from home in order to ease rush-hour traffic congestion. The bill passed the Senate on April 22, and it was released from the House State Affairs Committee on May 15. The bill awaits a vote in the House.
HB 1510 would protect landlords from liability when they rent to tenants with criminal records. The bill passed the House on May 5 and was released from the Senate State Affairs Committee on May 19. It awaits a vote in the Senate.

Elected: 2006
[email protected]

Sen. Judith Zaffirini • District 21

Sen. Judith Zaffirini • District 21Recent activity:
SB 33, which would provide more stringent punishments for hazing on college campuses, was passed by the Senate on April 30. The bill had a public hearing in the House on May 21.
SB 234, which would allow Hays County residents to hold an election to create a recreational district along the San Marcos River, was approved by the Senate on May 11. The bill was voted out of the House Committee on Special Purpose Districts on May 20.

Elected: 1987
[email protected]

Rep. Dawnna Dukes • District 46

Rep. Dawnna Dukes • District 46Recent activity:
Dukes sustained injuries during an August 2013 car accident that have resulted in her absence at the Capitol for about a month, she said. “My injuries began to seriously deteriorate to a level inconveniencing my ability to be fully mobile ... without excessive amounts of medication and pain management,” she said in an April 28 Facebook post. “I am fully in communication and interfacing with my staff to do the people’s business.”

Elected: 1994
[email protected]

Rep. Donna Howard • District 48

Rep. Donna Howard • District 48Recent activity:
The Senate passed HB 426 on May 20. The bill reconfigures the Work in Texas website for easier usage for applicants.
The House passed HB 964 on May 17. The bill amends the tax code relating to the calculation of the rollback tax rate for school districts.
The Senate passed HB 1902 on May 20. The bill address the regulation and use of gray water.

Elected: 2006
[email protected]

Rep. Elliott Naishtat • District 49

Rep. Elliott Naishtat • District 49Recent activity:
A public hearing was held May 20 for HB 1807, which requires the state to list all postsecondary educational programs for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
HB 3183, an advance directive and do-not-resuscitate order of a pregnant patient—also known as Marlise’s Law—was left pending in a committee despite an April 15 public hearing.

Elected: 1990
[email protected]

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez • District 51

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez • District 51Recent activity:
Eligible high school students can take as many dual-credit courses as they want under HB 505, a bill that will become law pending the governor’s signature.
The House approved HB 1891, which would allow struggling schools to adopt a community schools system.

Elected: 2002
[email protected]se.state.tx.us



Dozens of Austin residents spoke virtually and in person July 22 to share their thoughts on the city's proposed fiscal year 2021-22 budget. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police funding again takes center stage in public hearing on Austin's proposed FY 2021-22 budget

Dozens of city residents calling into or appearing at City Hall on July 22 shared their thoughts about policing and the city's spending plan.

Mortgage purchase applications are down year over year, but the Austin housing market remains hot. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin housing market still hot but showing signs of slowing down

Experts say that a decrease in mortgage purchase applications points to “a reversion back to norm” in the Austin housing market.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Z'Tejas margarita
Where to celebrate National Tequila Day this year around Austin

From mezcal bars to frozen margarita specials, here is a list of places to celebrate National Tequila Day on July 24.

Photo of men at a restaurant
New American restaurant 1417 launches on South First, plus more openings in South Austin

The bistro comes from the team behind downtown French gastropub Hopfield's.

Project Connect's Orange Line will go beneath Lady Bird Lake in the latest design. (Rendering courtesy Project Connect)
Into the bedrock: Capital Metro plans to go below Lady Bird Lake with Orange Line tunnel

The tunnel presents a few options of where the train could emerge near South Congress.

Residents at the Rosemont affected by Winter Storm Uri will get assistance with relocating within the next few weeks. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County OKs mitigation efforts for Rosemont at Oak Valley property

Housing Authority of Travis County staff are moving forward with mitigation efforts at the Rosemont apartment complex to assist those affected by Winter Storm Uri with relocating.

The 19-acre St. John property has been targeted for redevelopment for years. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Greystar, Austin housing authority plan recommended for St. John site redevelopment

The proposal for the long-vacant 19-acre property off I-35 includes hundreds of new housing units, expanded park space and a retail center.

Photo of a stack of masks
Austin Public Health says to mask up indoors, regardless of vaccination status

The Austin-Travis County community is on the "precipice" of Stage 4 pandemic risk, public health authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said.

Travis County has been discussing the possibility of a new Samsung facility with Samsung since January. (Community Impact Staff)
Travis County begins incentives negotiations with Samsung for possible $17B facility

Samsung is hoping to finalize a performance agreement by mid-August, which would include information about how the potential facility would affect property taxes.

Massey Wallace and her husband, Allen Wallace, will open a seventh location of Lonestar Kolaches at the former Little Red Wagon in October. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lonestar Kolaches coming to Round Rock; Kilwins sweet shop to open in Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, such as the Williamson County judge doubting more shutdowns as coronavirus rates increase.

The two sites were selected from dozens of possibilities under evaluation by staff this spring and summer. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
2 Austin properties recommended for use as designated homeless encampments

The announcement comes after a weekslong search launched this spring to find space for homeless individuals to move in the wake of Proposition B's passage.