Axios San Antonio

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🥳 Whoomp, there it is! Friday.

Today's weather: High near 72 and a rainy night ahead.

Situational awareness: There will be a full closure of the Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 interchange starting at 9pm. It will last through 5am Monday.

  • Loop 1604 will also be closed from Stone Oak Parkway to Bitters during that time.

Today's newsletter is 840 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Scandal-hit council adopts code of conduct

Photo Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of the City of San Antonio

The City Council adopted an internal code of conduct yesterday in an 8-2 vote despite concerns from some members that its language is too vague and could be politically weaponized.

Why it matters: The code comes after three high-profile City Council scandals since the fall of 2022 led members to take votes censuring and expressing no confidence in colleagues.

  • Before those votes, some council members said the city didn't have clear guidelines for when to punish colleagues.

Context: An independent report found former District 1 Councilmember Mario Bravo violated workplace violence policy when he was overheard publicly berating a fellow councilmember in September 2022.

Details: The code lays out eight expectations for council members to behave professionally and with respect. It also outlines a process for complaints and enforcement should a member violate the code.

  • Nothing in the code explicitly addresses driving while intoxicated. But, depending on the case, the council could still address it under the code, city attorney Andy Segovia said.

The intrigue: Bravo spoke to the council Thursday as a member of the public opposed to the code.

  • He told his former colleagues he agrees they should meet a high standard of conduct but that the new code sets up "a separate legal system for future trials of your peers."

State of play: Progressive Councilmembers Jalen McKee-Rodriguez and Teri Castillo cast the only two votes against the code.

  • Castillo said the language was too vague and open to interpretation, and that censure has been used elsewhere to punish politicians who challenge the status quo.

What they're saying: Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who supports the code, said he was "totally perplexed" by yesterday's discussion.

  • "There should be nothing controversial here," Nirenberg said.

The bottom line

2. Medicaid's alleged software mishap

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Hundreds of thousands of Texans recently lost Medicaid coverage due to faulty eligibility software from Deloitte, consumer advocacy groups alleged in a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday.

Why it matters: While the filing is focused on Medicaid redeterminations in Texas, where about 1.8 million people have been removed from the rolls since April, the advocates said the issues are part of recurring problems with eligibility systems Deloitte has provided to state Medicaid programs.

Driving the news: The complaint, which asks the FTC to investigate Deloitte for "deceptive and unfair" trade practices, said the company's software doesn't reliably conduct automatic redeterminations of whether a Texas Medicaid enrollee is still eligible for coverage, Axios' Maya Goldman reports.

  • States are supposed to check existing data to see if someone remains eligible for Medicaid before asking them to submit renewal forms.
  • Most people who have lost Medicaid coverage during the post-pandemic unwinding process have been disenrolled because of procedural issues, not because they were determined ineligible for coverage.
  • Texas' Medicaid disenrollment rate (61%) is the highest in the country, per KFF.

The other side: The Texas Department of Health and Human Services said through a spokesperson it's aware of the complaint and will work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "to implement immediate strategies to ensure that the redetermination process operates as smoothly as possible."

Zoom out: The complaint said Deloitte was aware that its software had bugs, pointing to reports of problems in other states that predate the pandemic.

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

💕 Love for Stanley cups inspired a new pink mural on San Pedro near San Antonio College. (SA Current)

⚖️ Local TV personality Esteban Solis was given a yearlong probation and $1,100 in fines for driving while intoxicated last February. (Express-News 🔒)

A student brought a handgun to a middle school in Uvalde yesterday. School officials confiscated it and removed the student from campus for disciplinary action. (KSAT)

4. Two, one, oh 🤩: Powdered perfection

It's unfair how good these are. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

👋 Madalyn here with a sweet treat worth stopping for. I recently checked out Piatti's new happy hour menu (get the arancini) and decided to try something new for dessert — zeppole.

Details: If you're also new to the magic, it's a round, doughnut-like pastry topped with powdered sugar with a custardy, melt-in-your-mouth center.

  • In other words, it's heavenly.

Between the lines: Piatti chef Joey DeStefano tells Axios that serving the pastries, which are traditionally tied to St. Joseph's Day, is special to him because they're reminiscent of celebrating the holiday as a child in the Bronx in New York.

What's next: Finding time in my calendar to go back for more.

5. The Friday News Quiz

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Let's celebrate the weekend with a fresh news quiz.

You know the drill: Reply to this email with the answers. Folks who get everything right might get some cool Axios San Antonio swag.

  1. True or false: San Antonio International Airport had 10.7 million passengers in 2023.
  2. What popular Austin restaurant opens a location at Make Ready Market today?
  3. What spot did the Spurs land on the list of top-selling NBA merchandise?
  4. What kind of parade will pass down Houston Street tomorrow?

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Steven Patrick and Yasmeen Altaji.

🥂 Madalyn is excited to check out new bars Amelia and Holy Diver Tiki Lounge this weekend.

ğŸŽ‚ Megan is wishing a happy early birthday to her friend and can't wait to celebrate together this weekend.