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The Lead: Public Pensions Studied, Fact Checking John Cornyn

Good morning! The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a sunny and mild day after this morning’s chilly start. Here’s some of KUT News’ top stories:

“Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says there are ‘warning signs’ for some of the Texas’ public pension plans. A report out today from her office singles out the city of Houston in particular. Combs says the state’s biggest pension funds, the Employee Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, are stable. But her efforts to do a comprehensive assessment, she says, were stymied by a lack of information.”

During his opening remarks Tuesday at a daylong conference on immigration and the economy, former President George W. Bush urged the nation’s leaders to debate immigration reform with compassion and kindness. In a brief appearance at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Bush did not advocate for a specific solution. But his statements indicated he supports policies similar to those he championed during his presidency, when immigration reform was last debated in Congress.

“A new study says that going the extra mile when working from home as a telecommuter may not pay off. The study, released this week by UT sociology professor Jennifer Glass, finds that putting in a little extra work from home just leads to working longer days without any perks like raises or promotions.”

“A Texas senator says the backlog of veterans’ claims has surged on President Obama’s watch. KUT’s Nathan Bernier spoke with Gardner Selby of the Austin American- Statesman’s PolitiFact Texas about Sen. John Cornyn’s assertion that the backlog has doubled since Obama took office.”

And here’s more local stories that have people talking:

  • City Council Split on Agreement With State Commission (YNN)
“Austin City Council is considering an interlocal agreement with the Texas Facilities Commission (TFC), looking to the long-term possibility of redeveloping several state-owned properties that are inside Austin city limits. Some leaders say a partnership would be premature. Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole is leading the charge to join the TFC as it determines the future use of state properties in the city. … Council Member Laura Morrison says moving forward now is a mistake. She wants better guidance and is worried the Sunset Advisory Commission may significantly reduce the TFC's role.”

  • Forums Kicks Off Planning for Drawing Council Districts (KXAN)
“The City of Austin will be first city in Texas to have an independent commission drawing the district lines. … The forum was aimed at providing the public an opportunity to provide input on the best ways to encourage participation in Austin's first redistricting process and how to secure a large pool of qualified applicants that reflect Austin's diversity.”

“It’s currently set for Sunday, Nov. 17, a day after the Texas Longhorns will beat Oklahoma State in front of a crowd that will top 100,000. … But there’s good news for the worried: Several sources close to the F1 action are becoming increasingly optimistic that F1 managers will find another Austin date soon.”

  • Most Wanted Sex Offender Arrested in South Austin (Statesman)
“The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrested 67-year-old Lloyd Lester Gibson III Monday afternoon near South Congress Avenue and Oltorf Street, according to officials with the U.S. Marshals Service task force and the Texas Department of Public Safety.”

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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