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Top Morning Stories February 17, 2011

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Photo by KUT News.
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The Austin City Council is voting on a resolution today for the city to help AISD during these tough budget times.

City Council to Vote on AISD Budget Resolution

The Austin City Council is voting on a resolution today that would get the ball rolling for the city to help the Austin Independent School District deal with its projected $114 million budget shortfall.  Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and school board president Mark Williams met with the council yesterday.  The resolution, if approved, would direct the city manager to help AISD look for efficiencies and partnerships.

Council to Vote on Urban Rail Studies Funding

The City Council is also expected to vote today on whether to fund studies for a proposed urban rail system. The total price tag for the studies alone could be $1.2 million. Critics say the money being spent could be wasted, because Austin voters haven’t signed off yet on urban rail.  Read today's council item here.  KUT's Erika Aguilar has the story below:

 http://media.kut.org/sounds/news_00024109/Aguilar_Light_Rail_Study_6PM_MIX.mp3

Governor to Help Ex-Prisoner Get Compensation

Governor Rick Perry is pledging to help Anthony Graves get compensation for a wrongful conviction. Graves spent 18 years in prison before capital murder charges against him were dropped last year.  The Houston Chronicle is reporting the latest:

Gov. Rick Perry said that Anthony Graves' capital-murder conviction was a "great miscarriage of justice" and pledged to assist in the effort to win the state compensation denied to Graves by the Texas Comptroller's Office. Perry said he would help Graves, who spent 18 years behind bars before charges were dropped in October, either through legislative action or "directly with the comptroller's office." In a Houston appearance Tuesday to discuss the importance of small business to the economy, Perry said he would support efforts to "get this individual the appropriate reimbursement for years that he has spent incarcerated for something that he did not do."   

New Census Numbers Expected to Come Out Today

We'll learn later today how many people were living in Texas on April 1, 2010.  The Census Bureau will release their data for the state this afternoon.  Texas lawmakers will use the data to redraw legislative and congressional maps this legislative session.  Texas will get four more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The state House and Senate Redistricting Committees will be meeting to begin the contentious process of hammering out the boundaries.