AM Update
8:22 am
Wed March 14, 2012

AM Update: The Boss Speaks Tomorrow, Federal Funds to Fight Homelessness, County Workers Get a Raise

Springsteen Delivering Keynote at SXSW Music

Need another sign South by Southwest Music is underway? 

Bruce Springsteen will give his SXSW keynote speech tomorrow at the Austin Convention Center, noon.  KUT will stream the talk live, and later than night, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band will perform in Austin via a special ticket drawing.

You can follow KUT’s continuing SXSW coverage on this blog and at kut.org.

HUD Money Coming to Help the Homeless

A total of 21 new programs providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, and additional support for Texas’  homeless – including an initiative in Austin – will receive $10.5 million dollars of federal money.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it has awarded $201 million dollars to new housing and service programs throughout the country as part of the Obama administration’s plan to address homelessness:

“Today’s grantees will join the tens of thousands of local programs that are on the front lines of helping those who might otherwise be living on our streets,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.  “It’s incredible that as we work to recover from the greatest economic decline since the Great Depression, the total number of homeless Americans is declining, in large part because of these funds.”

According to the latest data reported by more than 3,000 cities and counties throughout the U.S., homelessness declined 2.1 percent between 2010 and 2011and a remarkable 12 percent among homeless veterans. 

Approximately $414,000 was allocated to Austin/Travis County for a permanent supportive housing initiative.  

Travis Co. Workers Get a $7.5 Million Raise

At its meeting yesterday, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved pay raise totaling $7.5 million for some 2,700 county employees.  From the Austin American-Statesman:

The Commissioners Court voted 4-0 to accept the pay increases recommended in a market salary survey conducted by the county's Human Resources Management Department. They go into effect April 1. Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt was absent from the meeting.

Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe said the increases are fair. "We figure that most of the county employees were below market, and we've been promising to do a market salary survey for several years now," Biscoe said.

Commissioners had previously set money in the 2011-12 budget for the raises, and the salary adjustments approved Tuesday are included in planning for the 2012-13 budget, said Travis Gatlin of the county's Planning and Budget Office.

The survey found that Travis County employee salaries are generally lower than the market average, and recommended a 3.5% increase in the county's salary base.