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Top Morning Stories March 7, 2011

Photo courtesy of the Austin Independent School District.
AISD's board will hear more tonight on an option to give some employees an incentive package to voluntarily resign.

AISD Studying Resignation Incentives

Tonight the Austin Independent School District's board will get more details on an option to give certain employees an incentive package to voluntarily resign.  This would be offered to people already slated to lose their jobs.  A document on the board's website shows the district could end up having to pay employees unemployment benefits on top of the incentives.  Also on the agenda: board members will take another look at what is in the proposed budget for next school year.


Texas Jails May Have to Pay for Inspections

Texas lawmakers are considering a 30 percent cut to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the state agency that does jail inspections.  Brandi Grissom, of our political reporting partner the Texas Tribune, reports some lawmakers are proposing charging counties a fee to pay for these inspections.  Here's more from the Trib:

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards, with its 19 employees and an annual budget of about $1 million, inspects every county lockup in the state each year, determining whether staff members and officials are complying with rules meant to keep the facilities safe and to keep counties out of court for violating inmates’ rights. Despite its relatively miniscule portion of the state’s $182 billion budget, the commission is not exempt from the cutting bonanza lawmakers are undertaking as they seek ways to trim $15 billion to $27 billion from the state’s two-year budget.  


Final House Vote on Sonogram Bill Expected Today

The Texas House is expected to take a final vote on the abortion sonogram bill today.  This is the bill's third reading. The legislation would require women seeking abortions to get sonograms.  If the bill passes out of the House, it will then have to be reconciled with the Senate's version.