Jan 4, 2023 - News
What lies ahead in Austin in 2023
It's a new year in our fair city, and here's some of what we'll be watching.
Who coughs up the dough at the steakhouses
- The legislature reconvenes in Austin in January and we'll be keeping an eye on who picks up the tab as lobbyists and lawmakers meet in corner booths.
- Why it matters: Property tax cuts, abortion ban carve-outs, easing of gambling restrictions, electric grid fixes and upgrades to mental health services are all on the legislative agenda, and the lobby carries the clout.
How the new mayor shakes out
- Kirk Watson returns to City Hall with an inauguration Friday evening, along with new council members José Velásquez, Ryan Alter and Zohaib "Zo" Qadri.
- What to watch: How Watson navigates a city far different from the one he oversaw in the late 1990s.
When ground is broken
- TxDOT is moving full steam ahead with a massive expansion of I-35 — despite critics' claims that the project will lead to more traffic, more pollution and more disruption of Austinites' lives.
- Meanwhile, with costs soaring, local transit officials are looking at ways to scale back Project Connect, the city's marquee transit expansion effort to tie Austin together — including possibly paring down planned subways in downtown.
How to cheer
- Austin FC made it to the MLS semifinals in 2022, just their second season.
- With the return of key players and the addition of a frequent member of the U.S. national team, can they finish as champs this year?
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