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Top Morning Stories April 12, 2011

Photo by KUT News.
Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) could not get enough votes Monday to bring up his bill to allow concealed-handgun license holders to carry their weapons on college campuses.

Guns on Campus Bill Stalling in the Senate

Legislation under consideration at the State Capitol would make it legal to carry guns on college and university campuses. One of the bill’s sponsors, State Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio,  failed to get enough votes to bring it up for debate Monday.  Senator Wentworth says he’s one vote short to bring the bill to the floor.  Those in favor of the measure say it would give people the right to protect themselves on campus.  Opponents are concerned it would escalate campus violence.  You can read the full text of the Senate bill here.

Comptroller's Office Making Changes Post Security Breach 

Starting today state employees worried about a security breach at the Texas Comptroller’s Office can call a toll free number ( 1-855-474-2065 ) to see if their personal information was exposed.  When KUT tried calling early this morning that hotline was busy.  The Comptroller’s Office says it mistakenly left some 3.5 million personal files on a publicly accessible computer file.  Files included social security numbers, names and mailing addresses. 

In response to this, KERA's Bill Zeeble reports the state is creating two ftp sites. One is going to be for confidential information, the other for public.  The Comptroller's Office is also considering new software that would automatically encrypt data received from any state agency. 


City Sued Over Historic Property Tax Breaks

The City of Austin is being sued over its tax benefits for designated historic properties.  The lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon with the Travis County District Clerk's office.  The plaintiffs, which include city hall critic Mike Levy, argue the city's process for designating a site as historic is "arbitrary" and homeowners are not showing a need for the the tax relief to preserve their historic homes, as state law requires.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the city has already begun revising the program:

The City Council is scheduled to consider several changes to the landmark program later this month — including capping the tax breaks for historical homes at $2,000 per home, starting in 2013 .

You can check out the lawsuit here.

Chavez, et al. vs. the City of Austin, et al