Council talks Lege

By Gilbert Garcia

Yesterday's Council B-session was notable primarily because it marked the tentative unveiling of the shiny new 2009-2011 model, with new Council members Ray Lopez and Elisa Chan, and Julian Castro taking his rightful seat in the mayor's chair. Having said all that, the session was essentially dominated by outgoing District 8 Council member Diane Cibrian, who talked nearly as much as the rest of her colleagues combined, and often seemed to be speaking for the Council as if she'd won that little mayoral election we had a few weeks ago. In other words, it felt like old times at the Municipal Plaza Building.

Carlos Contreras, director of Intergovernmental Relations, presented a "preliminary post-session report" on how the City was affected by the legislature's 81st Legislative Session (the reason for the report's tortured title is that it's not yet clear which bills will be signed by Governor Rick Perry, or whether Perry will demand a special session). Contreras reported that seven of the City's eight biggest priorities passed the lege, but conceded that political jockeying over Voter ID had left many bills waiting at the altar.

Among the SA-related legislation that passed: The Military Installation Protection Act, which included an attached amendment from Senators Jeff Wentworth and Leticia Van de Putte that pertained specifically to the creation of a commission to ensure a buffer around Camp Bullis; $4 million in funding for UTSA's Life Science Institute; recognition of Texas A&M-San Antonio as a stand-alone institution. $10 million in additional BRAC funding from the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant; $20 million for big-city mayor initiatives that will enable SA to apply for more Haven for Hope funding; and a graffiti bill that requires restitution or community service for taggers, but does not include stiff new criminal penalties sought by many San Antonio Council members.

On the downside: $2 billion in highway improvement project bonds, a dangerous-dogs bill, local option funding for transportation, and all proposed meet-and-confer legislation failed to make it out of the lege.


Since 1986, the SA Current has served as the free, independent voice of San Antonio, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an SA Current Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today to keep San Antonio Current.

Scroll to read more The QueQue articles

Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.