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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jun. 5, 2012


State budget process begins with caution, no immediate cuts
Austin American-Statesman Postcards Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State agencies have been told that they will not have to cut their current budgets, at least for now. But nor should they expect to get back in the next two-year budget what they had previously lost. In the first step toward writing the 2014-15 state budget, the Legislative Budget Board and the governor's office instructed agencies to submit budget proposals that do not exceed what they are getting in the 2012-13 budget. More



US construction spending up 0.3 percent in April
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. builders increased their spending on construction projects for a second month in April. A pickup in home construction and commercial projects offset a fifth consecutive decline in government spending. Construction spending rose 0.3 percent in April, matching an upwardly revised 0.3 percent March gain, according to data released by the Commerce Department. The consecutive gains pushed spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $820.7 billion to March. That is 7.6 percent above a 12-year low hit in March 2011. More

New home sales, prices up in April
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans bought more new homes in April, the latest signal that the U.S. housing market is steadily improving. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales increased 3.3 percent in April from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000. Sales were up in all regions except the South. The median price rose to $235,700, a slight increase from March. A pickup in hiring and cheaper mortgages, combined with lower home prices in most markets, has made home buying more attractive. Builder confidence has increased steadily since the fall. More

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Important news about LEED 2012: A message from Rick Fedrizzi
USGBC Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
LEED 2012 has always been envisioned as a significant step forward in the rating system, one that would raise the bar on performance, and push all the players in our industry to the next level. However, as we've gone through public comment on LEED 2012, and engaged in hundreds of discussions with our members, the LEED community and numerous other stakeholders, we have heard repeatedly that while our community continues to fully embrace our mission, they need more time to absorb the changes we're proposing and to get their businesses ready to take the step with us. Therefore we've decided to delay ballot on LEED 2012 until June 1, 2013. More

Austin explores options for Lady Bird Lake's south shore
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New condos and office buildings are pretty much a given, but could a reimagined chunk of Lady Bird Lake's south shore one day be home to an aquarium, a carousel, food vendors, a museum or even a mini-golf course? That's the kind of waterfront development happening in other cities across the nation. Austin could be next, according to a team of urban planners in town to examine a stretch of the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail — and adjacent properties — from South First Street to just east of the American-Statesman building at South Congress Avenue and Barton Springs Road. More

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Builders learn how to comply with OSHA regulations with updated handbook from NAHB
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Safe work practices of small building companies play an important part in reducing injuries and fatalities in the residential construction industry. BuilderBooks, the publishing arm of the National Association of Home Builders recently released the third edition of its Jobsite Safety Handbook which explains what builders can do to comply with OSHA requirements. More

Green building boom shows no sign of waning
Earth Techling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
McGraw-Hill Construction likes to keep track of the ups and downs of the construction market, and green builders should like the findings of its latest SmartMarket Report: "New and Remodeled Green Homes: Transforming the Residential Market." Based on current building trends, the report projects that the market for green homes will grow between 29 and 38 percent by 2016. The report estimates green homes' share of the national construction market at 17 percent in 2011, constituting $17 billion. By 2016, potentially, the market could add up an additional $114 billion in business, based on a five-year forecast for overall residential construction. More



Employment numbers continue to go up in San Antonio's construction industry
San Antonio Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Once again, San Antonio has found itself on the positive end of the construction industry. Between April 2011 and 2012, the San Antonio/New Braunfels metro added 2,200 construction employees, according to the latest analysis by the Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America. In April 2011, this sector was reporting a total of 41,700 employees. A year later, the employee count stood at 43,900 — an increase of 5 percent. More

Growers warily eye Valley's water situation
Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Farmers and growers have been irrigating their crops heavily as temperatures have risen in past weeks, grateful for rain received in May, but nervously watching the amount of water stored in Falcon and Amistad reservoirs. Ray Prewett, spokesman for Texas Citrus Mutual and the Texas Vegetable Association, said the present situation is safe but he hopes water behind the two dams is replenished in the fall. More

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National Homeownership Month in June highlights opportunities to support homeownership
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Association of Home Builders wants current and future home owners to know about the many opportunities they have to show their support for the American dream of homeownership during National Homeownership Month in June. For anyone looking to buy their first home, or to move up to a space that is better suited for their current lifestyle, market conditions make it a great time to buy a home. More

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US Senate candidates working on debates
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The candidates in a runoff for Texas' open U.S. Senate seat are making debate plans, and one of them could be in Spanish, a campaign spokesman said. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has agreed to two televised debates, one on Belo Corp. TV stations, the other on public television, but the campaign is still working to set dates, campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said. Dewhurst's opponent, Ted Cruz, has suggested five debates before the runoff July 31. More



Texas voters could be purged, removed from rolls
The Associated Press via Theeagle.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 1.5 million Texans could be removed from the state's list of registered voters if they fail to vote or update their records in consecutive federal elections under an aggressive policy to keep files current. One in 10 voters has already had their registration suspended under the scheme, and for people under 30, the number doubles to one in five, the Houston Chronicle reported. More

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Houston's $1.9 billion budget raises questions
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The mayor's proposed $1.9 billion general fund operating budget for the year that starts July 1 gets its first hearing at the upcoming City Council meeting. The general fund budget that pays for police, fire service, libraries and the like is scheduled to increase by more than $100 million. The spending plan is not the calamity the city faced last year when it laid off 764 employees, struck deals to defer tens of millions of dollars of expenses and threatened to close pools and community centers before a couple of oil companies bailed it out. More


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Saving water, preserving land
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Levels of a colorless solvent that the Environmental Protection Agency links to liver damage and possibly cancer recently spiked in a monitoring well of the Edwards Aquifer on San Antonio's North Side. San Antonio's only defense against this and other pollution reaching its production wells is dilution from the clean water flowing into the aquifer from the rural land west of the city. To ensure that there is clean water entering the aquifer, the city's Edwards Aquifer Protection Program is about to spend an additional $90 million from a voter-approved one-eighth-cent sales tax to buy conservation easements over the aquifer's recharge zone. More
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