The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District boundary encompasses approximately 247 square miles in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, and Travis Counties and is the source of drinking water for over 60,000 people. It also is the source of water for Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park. The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District was established to conserve, protect, and prevent the waste of groundwater resources of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer and the underlying Trinity Aquifer and associated spring-dependent species of plants and animals. The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors elected for staggered four-year terms in general elections by the registered voters in five single-member precincts. Board meetings are open to the public.
The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) is a voluntary association of cities, counties and special districts in Central Texas based in Austin that includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties. Formed under the Texas legislature, councils of government (COGs) like CAPCOG deal with planning needs that cross the boundaries of individual local governments or that require partnerships across a large geographical area for the economic, environmental, and social development of the region. The goal of the Capital Area Council of Governments is to serve the Austin area as a regional advocate, planner, coordinator, and service provider in areas such as emergency communications services, elderly assistance, law enforcement training, criminal justice planning, solid waste reduction, homeland security planning, infrastructure development, land use and transportation planning and economic development.
Texas families with uninsured children may be eligible for health insurance through Children's Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program). Both programs provide a wide range of benefits, including regular check-ups, office visits, prescription drugs, eye exams, glasses and dental care to keep kids healthy. Families with children who get Children’s Medicaid pay nothing and children with CHIP pay no more than $50 a year for health care coverage. To qualify, a child must be a Texas resident, not be covered by private insurance and live with a parent who falls within the income limits set by the programs.
The city of Austin is administered by a city council elected at large and composed of six council members and a mayor, with a hired city manager. City elections are non-partisan and there is a runoff in cases of no majority winner. The current mayor of Austin is Lee Leffingwell and the city manager is Marc Ott. The official website of the city of Austin contains a multitude of information about not only city departments, including the city council, libraries, fire, parks, police, municipal court, utilities and airport, but information about local events, city jobs and Austin development plans. The easy to remember telephone number to contact the city of Austin for non-emergency city issues and questions is 3-1-1.
City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management provides information and resources on emergency preparedness plans and serves as the coordinating point for various municipal and county governments and agencies during actual emergencies and disasters in Austin and Travis County. City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also issues news and emergency notifications regarding the Austin area for emergency road closures, traffic reports, special events street closures, Austin energy power outage and Austin fire incidents. During area-wide emergencies, City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management maintains the Austin/Travis County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to serve as the command center for the City of Austin and Travis County response and recovery operations.
The Texas Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State of Texas and is elected to four year terms with no term limits. The current attorney general of Texas is Republican Greg Abbott who has been elected to office three times and currently is the longest-serving Attorney General in Texas history. As legal council to the state of Texas, the Texas Attorney General oversees the rights of all citizens of Texas including tenants, crime victims, the elderly and disabled and the enforcement of child support and health, safety and consumer protection regulations. The Office of the Attorney General is also a law enforcement agency and conducts investigations at the requests of local prosecutors.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the state agency in charge of clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste in the state of Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality enforces environmental laws, statutes, and regulations in the state of Texas including issuing air and water operating permits to businesses operating in Texas which specify the types and maximum amounts of pollutants that may legally be discharged into the air or state waterways. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality also runs the Take Care of Texas campaign to help Texans decrease their negative impact on the environment by offering suggestions on ways Texans can save money by making smarter environmental choices.
Operating under the Office of the Governor of the State of Texas, the Texas Film Commission has been assisting filmmakers and promoting the film industry in Texas since 1971 and more recently supporting the burgeoning Texas video game industry. The Texas Film Commission provides free information and assistance to projects of all types and all budgets. The Texas Film Commission also seeks to connect productions with personnel and service companies and provides a listing of current and upcoming professional film or commercial projects in Texas seeking crew members, actors and extras as well as animation and video game developer jobs and Texas film festivals and competitions seeking film entries. The Commission also assists media companies in location research, guidance on filming on State-owned property and other information relevant to media production in Texas.
The Texas Music Office is part of the Office of the Governor of Texas and promotes and provides information on musicians and music related businesses in Texas. The Texas Music Office maintains an online and published directory on the Texas music scene with approximately 16,000 listings totaling over 3000 printed pages including 7,300 Texas music businesses in 96 music business categories, Texas music events, Texas talent, Texas recording artists and Texas radio stations. The Texas Music Office also assists Texas musicians with individual projects and is liaison to worldwide press inquiries. The Texas music office was established in 1990 and was the first state agency created in the United States to promote the commercial music business. Since then, more than a dozen cities and states have created similar offices. Casey Monahan, a music journalist with the Austin American-Statesman at the time, was appointed the first director of the Texas Music Office and has remained the director through four Texas gubernatorial administrations.
Texas Online is the official website for the State of Texas and provides access to Texas government services that can be completed online for state and local government agencies throughout Texas such as vehicle registrations, driver license renewal, voter registration, birth certificate requests, concealed handgun license renewal, registered nurse license renewal, hunting and fishing licenses and many other licenses, permits and registrations in Texas. Texas Online also accepts payment for sales taxes, unemployment taxes, toll road fees and taxes and fees and links to information on assistance and benefits programs in Texas. A live online chat feature for assistance from a customer service representative is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Founded in 1840 and one of the oldest counties in Texas, Travis County is named for William Barrett Travis, a hero of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. The population of Travis County has grown by more than 25 percent over the past ten years, passing the one million mark, and making the Austin-Travis County area one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. The official website for the administration of Travis County government contains information and links for the Travis County court system, fire marshal and emergency services, the tax assessor-collector, marriage licenses, voter registration and all services and offices related to the government of Travis County.
Sheriffs in Texas are elected and serve four year terms without term limits. The current Sheriff is Greg Hamilton, the first African-American sheriff in Travis County history. The Travis County Sheriff and Travis County deputies are fully empowered peace officers with county-wide jurisdiction and may legally exercise their authority in all parts of Travis County including the City of Austin. The Travis County Sheriff's office manages the county jail, provides bailiffs for the county and district courts in Travis County and has overall responsibility for crimes scenes, missing persons operations, traffic enforcement, warrants, livestock laws and general law enforcement services throughout Travis County outside the City of Austin. The largest portion of the Travis County jail population is at the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle. The Travis County Sheriffs Department also sponsors Travis County Brown Santa, an annual holiday toy drive and community service program.