At the Feb. 28 commissioners court meeting, District Attorney Shawn Dick addressed the commissioners court concerning several emergency budget items to deal with a backlog of DA cases.
The court agreed to fund a temporary discovery clerk position, who helps with pre-trial work, using $10,000 of unallocated funds and pledged to potentially create a permanent position during the next budget session.
Overtime pay for investigators working on the backlog cases and files was also approved by the court. The money will come out of unallocated law enforcement funds and will be used until it runs out.
Other raises and position changes Dick requested were not voted on today, but commissioners agreed to meet and work with Dick in the future.
Juvenile center expansion
Bills currently working their way through the legislative session have Williamson County commissioners looking toward future plans for the county's juvenile justice center.
"Raise the Age" legislation, including 4 bills in the Texas Senate and House calls for 17-year-olds to be moved to juvenile centers across the state and may be passed this legislative session causing a need for expansion in Williamson County.
County officials said Williamson County has the 11th largest juvenile population in the state, but only has the 30th largest facility and that 347 17-year-olds came through the center for a total of 2,270 days last year. Right now, only about 20 additional beds would be needed, but county officials said that with continued population growth in the area and other legislation, including SB 1630, which was passed last legislative session and calls for juveniles to be housed closer to home, expansion is necessary.
Precinct 3 commissioner Valerie Covey proposed waiting a few months until the legislative process was wrapped up. But County Judge Dan Gattis said he does not want to fall behind the curve.
Commissioners approved a $200,000 line item transfer to go ahead with the design process for expanding the juvenile center.
Child car seat installation check event
Williamson County Emergency Medical Services, St. David’s Round Rock Hospital and Baby Earth are holding a car safety seat and booster event for area residents on March 9. The inspection event is offered at no cost to participants and is available by appointment only.
Certified child passenger safety technicians will assist families with car seat safety inspections, checking for expired seats and any recall information, along with educating families on recommended car seat use.
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Baby Earth, 106 E. Old Settlers Blvd., Round Rock. Call 512-600-7050 to schedule an appointment. www.wilco.org/ems