Austin City Council votes to ban declawing cats at Thursday’s council meeting


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Here are some of the votes to watch Thursday at the Austin City Council meeting.

  • APPROVED: The city approved on consent a ban on the declawing of cats. This comes after two years of public input, commission meetings and discussions with veterinarians. Only surgeries done for aesthetic reasons or at the cat owner’s convenience would be prohibited.
  • APPROVED: $5 million each for Austin Energy and Austin Water’s Plus One assistance programs. The goal is to provide utility bill relief for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • APPROVED: A $10 credit to every Austin Energy customer on the first bill issued after March 19.
  • APPROVED: Ratifying a contract with El Buen Samaritano to administer nearly $1.5 million in rental assistance to those impacted by the pandemic. Council documents say this vendor was chosen because of experience helping Latino, immigrant and low-income individuals.
  • APPROVED: A one-year, $150,000 contract with PeopleFund to provide loans for small businesses affected by the pandemic, with an emphasis on job creation, displacement prevention and small business expansion.
  • WITHDRAWN: To officially order a special election that would recriminalize public camping if passed by voters. This item was withdrawn, because Austin City Council already took action at the end of Tuesday’s work session to change the ballot language to remove the word ‘anyone’, after a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court the same day.  
  • APPROVED: An ordinance that will waive certain fees for repairs and tree removal at multi-family residences. These fees waivers will apply to repairs from damage during Winter Storm Uri. Council passed a similar waiver last week for other residential homes.
  • APPROVED: A contract extension with Family Eldercare for showers, toilets and other hygiene services for people experiencing homelessness. The additional $287,300 extends the agreement through the end of September.
  • APPROVED: More funding for Jane’s Due Process to provide logistical support services, such as transportation, for abortion access. This would authorize an initial $100,000, with more extension options down the road.
  • APPROVED: A resolution put forth by council member Natasha Harper-Madison to acknowledge previous city policies and their effect on Black Austinites through discrimination, urban renewal policies and the 1928 Master Plan. The resolution directs City Manager Spencer Cronk to analyze and report on these programs and policies and to provide funding recommendations for the creation of a Black resource and cultural center.
  • APPROVED: An ordinance would adopt temporary reductions to Austin water rates until April 26.
  • APPROVED: Extending the requirement for landlords to provide 60 days’ notice with a “notice of proposed eviction” before issuing a notice to vacate. This was adopted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now extended until May 17.

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