Austin’s Top News – February 2, 2021 | KLBJ-AM

State of the state address

Governor Greg Abbott made this year’s state of the state address and, as expected, the focus was largely on the pandemic.

“Texans are returning to work, students are returning to school. Families restore routines. With each passing day with more vaccinations and increased immunity, normality is returning to Texas, ”Abbott says.

There are also five emergency priorities that the governor would like to address during this term. These include expanding broadband access, revising the bail system, introducing liability coverage for companies operating during the pandemic, ensuring election integrity and punishing cities like Austin for attempting to devalue their police stations.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler says he supports the governor’s statements on law enforcement. In particular, Adler supports the governor’s proposal to improve law enforcement.

“And that is exactly the focus of our current activities in Austin. Because we respect and value our cops, we want them to work on crimes. We want them not to be our mental health first responders, ”says Adler.

Mayor Adler says he was unaware that a Texas city was defusing its police force, noting that Austin is using unused police staff budget dollars to fight homelessness. He adds that this is also a public safety concern.

Latino State of the State address

Improving health care for minority Texans is one of the demands of Hispanic leaders during the Latino State address. Ana Hernandez MP is the chief legal adviser to the Mexican-American Legislative Committee. In her address to the Latino State of the State, she called on Governor Abbott to bridge the so-called disparity in the health care system.

“While Latino and Black Texans are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, they are less likely to receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine,” says Hernandez.

She specifically urged lawmakers to do what 36 states have already done under the Affordable Care Act.

“We can expand Medicaid coverage, we can allocate appropriate resources to vulnerable communities, and we need to do that now,” says Hernandez.

COVID-19 update

Further advances in Travis County’s hospitals as the total number of coronavirus patients slowly declines. 510 people have been hospitalized today, 4 fewer than a day ago. While active cases have decreased somewhat to 5,201, hundreds more recoveries have been reported. That number now stands at 63,547. The districts confirmed a total of 69,408 cases.

Nearly 200 less active cases in Williamson County are reported today. Of the total of 32,285 confirmed, 1,608 are currently active and 33,353 have recovered. The available hospital bed space made a good leap up last day. The district now reports 781 free beds or 21%. The ICU capacity has increased to 13%.

The Austin School District continues to focus on vaccinating elderly and vulnerable employees, and there are some who have now been fully vaccinated with both doses. Lupe Sudduth is one of them. She tells KVUE that she feels very happy and hopes things will soon return to normal.

“We miss the children. We know it would be really great to go back and we can’t wait for it to happen. All my friends who are teachers feel the same way, ”says Sudduth.

The district says up to 1,500 teachers and staff received at least one dose.

Funding programs to help the homeless

The Housing and Urban Development Department has sent $ 2.5 billion to various organizations around the country dealing with homelessness. More than $ 10 million of this will be given to groups in Travis County. Austin Caritas gets the best of $ 1.8 million. More than $ 350,000 will go to the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.

Austin Nonprofit Save Austin Now calls for an independent review of spending on homeless people in the city. Co-founder Cleo Petricek wants to know how the city spent $ 160 million between 2018 and 2020.

“They know that the current camping ban is not working, so the mayor and the city council as a whole. So what are we doing to address the problem? “Says Patricek.

Permitting public camping has led to heightened public safety, fire, and crime concerns, Petricek said.

Fear the walking dead in Round Rock

If you drive around Round Rock regularly, you can force the work teams on AMC show Fear The Walking Dead to take a different route today. Part of Chisholm Trail Road is closed all day today to film the show between 7am and 9pm. In fact, the lockdown will include the area between Old Settlers and Highway 79. So if you are looking for a different route you may want to find another route from this area on a regular basis.

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