AM Update: 8/28/12
9:18 am
Tue August 28, 2012

AM Update: AISD's Billion Dollar Budget, Funding for Nonprofits, Texas Preps for Isaac

Good morning. Expect a high near 95 and a slight chance of showers this Tuesday. Here’s some of this morning’s top stories.

Austin School Board Sets Budget

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees gathers to act on a budget this evening.

The board will vote on a $1 billion spending plan Tuesday night that provides a one-time three percent pay raise for staff by drawing money from its emergency checking account.

A public hearing on AISD’s proposed budget and tax rate is set to begin at 7:10 p.m. Then at 9:30 p.m., adoption of the budget is set to begin. According to the agenda

The FY2013 Recommended General Fund Budget includes costs to support a compensation adjustment to provide the equivalent of a 3 percent increase for all regular, full and part-time staff eligible for benefits, which costs approximately $14,160,000.  This payment will be funded out of district reserves.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Carruth Administration Complex, 1111 W. Sixth St., Room B-100.

$100K in Donations for Nonprofits

Nonprofits affected by recent funding cuts from the United Way are getting some assistance from Blue cross Blue Shield of Texas.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the insurance company is offering $20,000 each to five Central Texas agencies: Any Baby Can, AGE of Central Texas, the People's Community Clinic, SafePlace, and Meals on Wheels and More.

The Statesman notes the money is less than some of the agencies previously received from United Way, but the groups are grateful.

Meals on Wheels President Dan Pruett, whose group lost its entire $76,500 United Way grant, said Monday's news was a pleasant way to start the week.

"We're enormously grateful," he said. "It's a great gift."

Texas Prepares for Isaac

Texas officials are making plans as Tropical Storm Isaac heads towards the Gulf Coast.

Gov. Rick Perry has activated the Disaster District Committee in Beaumont. The governor’s office says the Beaumont DDC will help with immediate needs from western Louisiana and address any potential impact to Texas.

The regional FEMA office in Denton has set up an operations center in Baton Rouge and the American Red Cross in North Texas has activated its emergency command center in Dallas.

Right now, forecasters believe the storm will become a hurricane and hit southeastern Louisiana late today or early tomorrow.