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March 19, 2009
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Is Chinese Drywall the New Mold?
from The Wall Street Journal Developments Blog
Is Chinese drywall the new mold? The building industry is being hit by a bevy of lawsuits over drywall, manufactured in China, that appears to be emitting nasty smelling, corrosive gases into people’s homes. The drywall issue is reminiscent of the flood of lawsuits in the early part of the decade when water intrusion caused mold to sprout in people’s houses and offices. More


Perry Appointee Seeks Deal on Stimulus Aid
from The Associated Press via The Amarillo Globe News
Gov. Rick Perry's top appointee to the Texas Workforce Commission is working with lawmakers on a compromise that might allow the state to accept $555 million in federal stimulus money for unemployment. Perry said last week he planned to reject that portion of $17 billion slated for Texas in the federal stimulus package, but commission Chairman Tom Pauken has floated the idea of changing state law in order to accept the money, then reverting to current law after the money runs out. More

Study: Texas Still Tops for Business
from The Austin Business Journal
Texas holds its place for the fourth year in a row as the best state to do business in, according to Chief Executive magazine. The magazine ranks the states on what it calls “a broad range of issues” including natural resources, regulation, tax policies, quality of living, education and infrastructure. More

DFW, Houston Lead Nation in Population Growth
from The Houston Chronicle
Texas counties and metropolitan areas continued to attract strong population growth last year as the state added jobs while most of the country was shedding them, the Census Bureau reported today. The Houston metropolitan area added more than 130,000 residents between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008, the second-highest number in the country after Dallas-Fort Worth, the bureau said. More

Texas to Receive $546 Million for Energy Efficiency
from The Dallas Morning News
Texas will get a whopping $546 million from the stimulus package to make homes and buildings more energy-efficient. That's a massive amount of money for efficiency upgrades. The White House said Wednesday that around $327 million will go toward weatherizing the homes of low-income Texans. Compare that amount with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs' budget last year for the state's weatherization program for the low-income: $12.2 million. More

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Voter ID Legislation Passes Senate
from The Houston Chronicle
The state Senate today approved a controversial voter ID bill that now faces a far less certain future in the Texas House. The bill would require Texans to produce a valid photo ID or two alternatives before being allowed to cast a ballot. More

Bill Proposes More Business Tax Exemptions
from The Dallas Morning News
Many small Texas businesses would no longer have to pay the state business tax and others would see their tax liability drop under legislation endorsed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and a majority of senators. Sen. Dan Patrick's bill comes in response to small-business owners' complaints about the tax the Legislature adopted in 2006 to help pay for a massive school property tax cut. The business tax was first collected last year. More

Legislators May Not Be Able to Override Governors on Stimulus Money
from The Fort Worth Star Telegram
A nonpartisan congressional report released Wednesday concludes that it would likely be unconstitutional for a legislature to supplant a governor in accepting and using economic stimulus money - a finding that could have major implications in Texas. More

Mortgage Rates Likely to Sink on Fed Actions
from The Associated Press via The Austin American-Statesman
If you've got a good job, solid credit and your home's value hasn't fallen dramatically, you're likely to benefit from the Federal Reserve's extraordinary action Wednesday to help drive mortgage rates to historic lows and revive the U.S. housing market. It's likely to produce a big drop in mortgage rates. Analysts expect rates to fall 0.25 to 0.5 percentage points as soon as today. More

Get the latest Texas Association of Builders news as well as information affecting the building industry by visiting For information about Education, Exhibits and Special Events happening at the 2009 Sunbelt Builders Show™, visit

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