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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           January 13, 2015


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Hegar: 'Moderate expansion' of economy is expected
The Texas Tribune
Amid concerns that tumbling oil prices could push the Texas economy into a recession, Comptroller Glenn Hegar offered a cautiously optimistic tone on the future of the Texas economy, announcing that lawmakers will have $113 billion to haggle over in crafting its next two-year budget. "Our projections are based on expectations of a moderate expansion in the Texas economy and reflect uncertainties in oil prices and the possibilities of a slowing global economy," Hegar said.
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Gov.-elect Abbott: End local bans on bags, fracking, tree-cutting
Austin American-Statesman
Declaring that freedom and private property rights should not be bound by city lines, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott on Thursday called for doing away with a "patchwork quilt" of local bans on everything from paper and plastic bags to fracking that he said threatens to turn Texas into California.
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Home starts, inventory and sales all up in Austin; more on horizon
Austin Business Journal
New home inventory in Austin has increased dramatically in the past year but demand could still outstrip supply if population growth remains robust and building cycles continue to increase. "No doubt the combination of attractive mortgage rates, strong job growth and positive local economic news helped to propel the market higher," stated a report by Residential Strategies Inc., a Dallas-based market research company.
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Analysts split over whether oil plunge will hammer Texas' housing market
The Dallas Morning News
Plunging oil prices could put the brakes on Dallas' runaway housing market, some national economists warn. But local analysts are more optimistic that North Texas' robust real estate markets will shrug off the impact of an energy sector shakeout.
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House panel recommends Texas Legislature take action on dark money
Houston Chronicle
Texas lawmakers should take steps to increase transparency in the state's campaign finance system by passing new measures to prevent politically active nonprofits from shielding the identities of their donors, a powerful House committee said.
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Marvin Nichols Reservoir stays in state plan
The Texas Tribune
It was an argument the state's top water planning officials had long avoided, over a huge lake that probably won't exist for decades — if ever. But recently, the Texas Water Development Board's three members unanimously voted for the 72,000-acre Marvin Nichols Reservoir — which the thirsty Dallas Fort-Worth region hopes to build in Northeast Texas — to stay in the State Water Plan.
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Incoming Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick vows tax relief for Texans despite oil prices
The Dallas Morning News
Incoming Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that an oil and gas industry slowdown won't cause Republican leaders to shelve promises of serious tax relief despite plunging energy prices that are complicating the Texas budget outlook. Oil prices briefly fell below $50 a barrel Monday for the first time since 2009. But Patrick, the strident tea party leader who ousted three-term incumbent David Dewhurst last year behind a campaign that pledged lower taxes, said he remains undeterred.
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Experts declare what's hot in home design for 2015 — and what need
CultureMap Dallas
Zillow Digs has released its 2015 home trend forecast, which details what's hot — and what's not — for interior design. The annual report combines data from a survey of leading design experts with an analysis of the most popular photos on the site.
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Analysis: Session a mix of new faces and uncertainty
The Texas Tribune
You can make a case that the new legislative session will be unremarkable, that the new people at the top will get along well and that those who are wringing their hands about change are manufacturing fake drama. You can also make the case that the mix of new personalities, the split in the Republican Party and a Legislature easily stampeded by noisy outside partisans will provide the sort of drama that's keeping the hand-wringers busy.
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Straus locks down support of 45 Democrats in speaker's race
San Antonio Express-News
Days before the legislative session kicks off and House lawmakers elect a leader, Speaker Joe Straus has racked up another big round of endorsements — this time from the majority of the Democrats in the chamber. Forty-five House Democrats signed a letter of support for Straus, R-San Antonio, further cementing the narrative that Straus will cruise to a commanding re-election victory.
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A new way to build: Green, gorgeous and prefabricated
AOL Real Estate
Eco-friendly houses can look as chic and gorgeous as any site-built homes, while still being quite kind to the planet. With the reality of abundant waste going into landfills and the effects of global warming, it seems clear houses should be built with more consideration for the earth. A new house under construction in Connecticut that is designed and built by evoDOMUS, a firm influenced by German design, is a perfect example.
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6 kitchen designs with major staying power
The Huffington Post
We knew we spent a lot of time in our kitchens, but more time than we'll spend with our spouses? That is NOT a fact we would've foreseen. The average American marriage lasts about eight years — and the average American kitchen lives for 16 to 30 years, according to a recent survey from design website Houzz. While this isn't the most savory news for the state of American romance, it is welcome news for those of us who love classic kitchen design.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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