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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources May 18, 2010

The Big Story: Where do we stand in the Texas governor's race?
The Dallas Morning News OPINION Blog    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Less than six months to election day, one poll shows incumbent Republican Rick Perry with a widening lead over Democrat Bill White, considered his party's best hope since before Perry was elected (which, sources say, is a very long time). William McKenzie, Dallas Morning News editorial columnist and longtime observer of the state's political scene, lays out the parameters of the race in tactical terms: Perry, the masterful battlefield general, vs. White, the canny courtroom lawyer. More

Gov. Rick Perry stays in $10 thousand a month rental, public foots the bill
Austin Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas taxpayers have paid close to $10,000 a month for Gov. Rick Perry to live in an Austin hillside rental home while the governor's mansion is renovated, the Associated Press reported. The governor has spent a total $600,000 since moving in the five-bed, seven-bath mansion more than two years ago, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Other expenses have included $8,400 for pool heating, $44,000 for lawn maintenance, $18,000 for household supplies, $1,002 in window coverings and $70 for a two-year subscription to Food & Wine Magazine, among other expenses. More

Business tax not expected to hit goal
The San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was a tax born in a barbecue joint, the story has it, and now it's giving state budget writers heartburn. The Texas business tax comes due again today, and no one's suggesting it will yield anywhere near the approximately $6 billion it was initially forecast to produce annually. It yielded $4.5 billion when first collected in 2008, based on the previous year's business activity. Last year, collections dipped to $4.3 billion. State Comptroller Susan Combs predicts the same amount will be collected this year. More

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Home construction up, building permits fall
The Associated Press via The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Construction of new homes rose more than expected in April but new building permits fell sharply, signaling the industry's rebound could be short-lived. The results show builders ramped up to meet demand from buyers seeking to take advantage of federal tax incentives, but are now scaling back their plans. Building permits, a gauge of future activity, sank 11.5 percent to an annual rate of 606,000, the lowest since October 2009, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Analysts were expecting a slight dip to a rate of 680,000. More

Texas State hosting construction forum
Austin Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas State University is hosting a construction forum June 1. The Historically Underutilized Business Outreach Program and Office of Facilities Planning Design and Construction program event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on campus at the LBJ Student Center ballroom. More

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Official: Second Predator drone could fly along coast
The Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A second unmanned aircraft could end up flying over Texas to help in the hunt for illegal activity, according to testimony Thursday from a senior government official. Alan Bersin, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, mentioned to a group of U.S. senators that two separate unmanned aircraft, or drones, could be flown over Texas. More

Texas lawmakers likely to tighten control over baby blood samples
The Austin American Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas parents could get more information and more control over their babies' blood samples including the right to own those samples after the state tests the blood for 28 disorders, lawmakers indicated at a hearing Monday. For more than four hours, the House Committee on Public Health questioned officials with the Department of State Health Services and heard concerns from parents and others about the state's handling of blood spots once screening tests are completed. More

More Texas doctors dropping Medicare patients
The Bryan-College Station Eagle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Experts blame declining Medicare reimbursement for hundreds of Texas doctors dropping out of the federal health care program for senior citizens. The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that more than 300 Texas doctors have dropped the program in the last two years, including 50 in the first three months of 2010. More

Lawsuit seeks to halt drilling at an even deeper BP site
The Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A former safety consultant for BP asked a federal judge Monday to order the oil giant to cease drilling at its Atlantis platform in the Gulf, citing federal regulators' failure to investigate potential dangers at the site — described by BP as the deepest off-shore well in the world. On any other day, the lawsuit by Kenneth Abbott, a former safety contract engineer for BP, and Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group, might go unnoticed. More

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Agricultural producers want financial safety net in farm bill
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Producers from every major agriculture commodity group in Texas told agriculture legislators that provisions of a financial safety net was their common concern for the next farm bill. Area producers and agribusiness members filled the Texas Tech Museum for the U.S. House Agriculture Committee's public field hearing on Monday to hear legislators and witnesses discuss the 2012 Farm Bill. More

Conservatives on Texas board leaving legacy in schools but losing clout
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When social conservatives on the State Board of Education put the final touches on social studies curriculum standards this week, it will be a significant victory in their years-long push to imprint their beliefs upon what Texas students learn. But it could also be the peak of their influence. After losses in this spring's primaries, the social conservative bloc is expected to lack the clout to drive the board's decisions on the curriculum, textbooks and other key education issues. More

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