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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources June. 1, 2010

Lawmakers take aim at items exempt from sales tax
The Houston Chronicle    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From car washes to tattoos to bottled water, the list of items and services exempt from the sales tax totals $30 billion in forgone revenue — a tempting target for some lawmakers as the state faces a budget gap as big as $18 billion. Take aim at a tax exemption, however, and you quickly will find interests circling the wagons to preserve it, plus lawmakers resistant to raising money in a piecemeal fashion or increasing tax revenue at all. More

Possible EPA takeover seems like a gift to White
The San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The EPA's crackdown on Texas' air-quality regulation might seem like a gift to Democrat Bill White, but Gov. Rick Perry is seizing on the mess as a way to tie him to what the Republican portrays as big, bad federal government. The situation is important to anyone who breathes. The EPA, which delegates authority to issue permits to states, says it could take over Texas' entire program because the state isn't following the Clean Air Act. Texas disputes the EPA's contentions. More

Perry's campaign style: Texas tough
The Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on
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Rick Perry is governor of a state with a multibillion-dollar hole in the budget that's getting bigger. The EPA wants to take away the state's power to police the quality of its air. He's the butt of jokes for spending tens of thousands of tax dollars to rent a swanky house. For anyone else, that's the résumé of a candidate who needs to play defense. Not so for Perry, whose confident campaign message in seeking a historic third four-year term as governor is essentially the same as the rallying cry of the Texas revolutionaries who fought off Mexican troops in 1835: Come and take it. More

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Holder to meet with state AGs on Gulf Coast
The Associated Press via El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Attorney General Eric Holder plans to visit the Gulf Coast to see areas affected by the oil spill and meet with state attorneys general and U.S. prosecutors. The Justice Department says Holder will visit the region Tuesday. He is scheduled to receive a Coast Guard tour, then meet with the attorneys general of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and several U.S. attorneys. More

China's wind energy industry blown away by Texas weather
The Fort Worth Business Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China's Wang Song hasn't been in Texas long, but there's something he likes about the state's rolling prairies and hilly Cross Timbers: What he likes is that they're almost always windy. It's inexpensive and clean energy waiting to be tapped. And that's good news because Song is a senior vice president — and one of the two founders — of Mingyang Wind Power Industry Group, a private China-based wind energy company that hopes to see its giant wind turbines cranking up inexpensive electricity, first in Texas and then the rest of the country. More

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Isett: 'It's someone else's turn'
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Carl Isett began representing Texas House District 84 in early 1997, Republican George W. Bush was in his first term as governor. And although the GOP had a slight majority in the Senate, the Democrats called the shots in the Legislature, with Pete Laney of Hale Center as speaker and the late Bob Bullock as lieutenant governor. More

BP's 'top kill' fails to stop Gulf oil leak
The Associated Press via The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a demoralizing setback, BP engineers said Saturday that the "top kill" effort to stem the flow of oil gushing from a well a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico had failed and that after consultation with government officials they had decided to move on to another strategy. More

Another wind company coming to Abilene
The Abilene Reporter-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Another wind energy-related company is coming to the Big Country. LM Wind Power Service & Logistics announced this week it is bringing its North American regional service center to Abilene. The center will serve as the southern operations base for the company's wind turbine blade repair business, according to a company news release. More

Island businesses see better days ahead
The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A 3-year-old tentative plan to open a beach bar came to fruition last October for Jeff Hooper and Crystal Burton, who bought the Island Grill and turned it into the Spark Plug Bar & Grill. "South Padre Island is the best kept secret on the Gulf Coast," Hooper said. More

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Lawsuit brewing against history standards
The San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas social studies curriculum standards adopted along party lines by the State Board of Education last week are "illegitimate," some board members say, and Democrats in the Legislature are contemplating legal action to try to kill the measure. Bitter debate has continued after a yearlong process that generated more than 40,000 public comments and a document cheered by supporters for its underscoring of traditional history and the free enterprise system — and scorned by detractors as a distortion of reality. More

Burgess wants an investigation into TCEQ
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Politex Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess had some strong words for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality following news that it presented inaccurate results to the Fort Worth City Council and failed to notify the city or the public for weeks after it realized the error. The Lewisville Republican wants an investigation into why the agency didn't make immediately clear that its testing of air quality in Fort Worth related to gas drilling had some problems as soon as they became aware of it. More

Trendmaker Homes going to the country
The Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In doing research for a new line of country homes, Trendmaker found 3,400 parcels of land in the Round Top area that hadn't been built on and whose owners lived in other cities. It was part of what gave the builder the confidence to enter the rural central Texas housing market. More

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