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Houston Budget Update, Louisiana Transplants, Public Defenders, and Astroworld Memories: Houston Matters for Thursday, June 19, 2014

NOTE: Houston Matters was pre-empted at noon today by President Obama’s news conference. But you can hear the entire show here after 3pm, or on Houston Public Media news 88.7 tonight at 10. The Houston City Council Wednesday passed a budget for 2015 which will, among other things, set aside more than ten million dollars for pothole […]

NOTE: Houston Matters was pre-empted at noon today by President Obama’s news conference. But you can hear the entire show here after 3pm, or on Houston Public Media news 88.7 tonight at 10.

The Houston City Council Wednesday passed a budget for 2015 which will, among other things, set aside more than ten million dollars for pothole repairs, add animal control officers, and hire an expert to investigate how best to staff the Houston Fire Department. (Firefighters and the city are currently at odds over a new contract – staffing and overtime remain a part of those negotiations).

On this edition of Houston Matters, we’ll learn more about these and other highlights in the budget from Houston Chronicle City Council reporter Mike Morris.

Also this hour: It’s hard to say just how many Louisiana transplants there are in Greater Houston, but their influence is notable. Cajun and Creole culture, from food to music and beyond, can be found here. And that influence began long before the influx of New Orleans transplants, who came here during or after Hurricane Katrina. We’ll discuss the influence of Louisiana on Houston business, politics, and culture.

Plus: It’s the job of a public defender to represent Houstonians who can’t afford to hire their own attorney. In other cities, it is often an under-resourced role. But the Harris County Public Defender’s office was created in conjunction with the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, and until recently was funded by that commission. We’ll talk with three public defenders about their office, how they believe it differs from other public defender offices around the country, and why some of the attorneys there are, in fact, asking for more work.

And: We’ll share some of your AstroWorld memories.

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