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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Feb. 3, 2011

E-Verify battle could soon greet Texas lawmakers
Texas Tribune    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State legislators intent on cracking down on the hiring of undocumented workers could be embracing a system so fraught with errors that some critics say it actually hinders employers who use it to check the eligibility of new hires. Employers could also be caught up in a constitutional legal battle in the process. At least half a dozen bills have been filed in the Texas House mandating the use of the federal electronic employment verification system known as E-Verify. U.S. Citizen and Immigrant Services manages the system, which compares the information potential workers submit to an employer on their I-9 — a federal document that collects employment-eligibility information — to records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. More

Shortfall's implications keep coming into focus
Austin American-Statesman First Reading Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With each passing day, the implications of the Texas budget crisis reveal themselves more and more. Stories about cutbacks in public school and higher education staffing fill the pages of the state's newspapers. Doctors and nursing homes discuss in dire terms what will happen when Medicaid reimbursement rates are cut. Users of government services (which we all are, to some degree or another) plead for those services to survive. More

State report suggests reducing tax breaks on some natural gas drilling
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tax breaks that encouraged high-cost natural gas drilling in Texas cost state government $7.4 billion in lost revenue over six years and would cost the state billions more if continued, according to a study authored for legislative leaders. The study by the Legislative Budget Board, which has not been publicly released, was created for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden and House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts. More

Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) protects you.
Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) has provided warranties to Texas builders for over 10 years. Now we offer A rated Contractors General Liability and Builders Risk insurance through our sister company, Bonded Builders Insurance Services (BBIS). This Protection Plus program is available from local Texas insurance agents. For information on our warranty and insurance programs, contact David Broyles, Vice President, BBIS, 877 219-9519, ext.4368 more

Opinion: Is it raining yet? Even some Republicans think it might be
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even among some Republicans, the rainy-day fund doesn't look quite as off-limits as GOP Gov. Rick Perry made it sound just a few weeks ago. The fund is expected to have $9.4 billion that can be spent with a super-majority vote of lawmakers — money that may look more attractive as cuts' impact becomes clearer. Perry, as the legislative session opened, said he opposed using the rainy-day fund despite a budget gap estimated at $15 billion to $27 billion through the next two years. More

Houstonians could lose water if drainage fees aren't paid
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Houstonians may have their water cut off and could even be sued if they do not pay a proposed monthly drainage fee, according to a presentation on the fee's implementation made at City Council. Mayor Annise Parker cautioned that council would have the ultimate authority to decide how to ensure that city residents pay the fee, part of a 20-year, $8 billion infrastructure initiative passed by voters last November. More

Is Title 24 considered the same as ASHRAE in LEED?
Green Buildings    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The saying goes, "As California goes, so goes the rest of the country." This is true with catalytic converters, not so true with economic policy. But's relatively safe to say that California's Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, aka Title 24, Section 6 is possibly the most stringent local energy conservation code in the country. While these energy efficiency standards are commonly referred to simply as 'Title 24,' this is a misnomer because the full Title 24 includes state regulations that govern the design and construction of all building components, not just energy efficiency. More

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First net-zero home in San Antonio opens to public
Clean Energy Authority    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
BuiltSmart Resources invited the whole town out to celebrate the grand opening of its new solar-powered net-zero home in San Antonio. The 3,900-square-foot home is the first net-zero house in San Antonio and may be the most efficient home in the state, said BuiltSmart President Mike Scott. The home, built on more than two acres at the edge of northern Bexar County, features a state-of-the-art 11.28-kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation, which offsets 110 percent of its energy consumption based on a five-person occupancy, Scott said. That means the home will regularly be pumping power back into the grid. More
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