City of Austin sued in Texas high court over ballot language


Former Travis County judge Bill Aleshire has sued the city of Austin in the Texas Supreme Court, challenging the ballot language of a proposition up for a local vote in November.

The lawsuit filed Monday challenges ballot language related to Proposition K, which calls for an outside audit of government efficiency at City HallThe Austin City Council approved the ballot wording last week.

At that council meeting, some supporters of the proposition bristled at the language, which includes a cost estimate for the audit of between $1 million and $5 million. Proposition backers complain the inclusion of the cost estimate will bias voters against the measure because the wording does not mention any possible savings that could result from an audit.

Proposition K came about after a former aide to Council Member Ellen Troxclair gathered more than 30,000 signatures on a petition calling for the audit. The council could have approved conducting an audit outright, but members never held a vote on the proposed ordinance. Instead, the council put the question to voters.

No hearings have been set at the Supreme Court, but Aleshire, who is representing an Austin resident who signed the petition, said last week that he is hoping for the challenge to be resolved before the Sept. 7 deadline for finalizing ballot language with the Travis County clerk’s office.



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