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June 30, 2009
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More Inspectors to Check Texas Construction Sites
from The Austin American-Statesman
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will temporarily increase the number of its inspectors in Texas beginning next month as it beefs up enforcement of safety standards at construction sites. "When these inspectors observe unsafe scaffolds, fall risks, trenches or other hazards, they are empowered to launch an immediate investigation," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said. More


Many Want Perry to Add to Special Session's Agenda
from The Dallas Morning News
The special work session for legislators beginning Wednesday is likely to be short, but not necessarily sweet. Advocates for unfinished business, ranging from expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program to lowering homeowners insurance, are disappointed the governor won't tackle what they see as pressing needs. More

Mortgage Firm Management Stymies Foreclosure Program
from The New York Times via The Dallas Morning News
Somewhere on Earth, there must be a more difficult task than this: persuading American mortgage companies to lower payments for homeowners who can no longer afford their loans. But as Karina Montenegro struggles to accomplish this feat for a troubled borrower, she strains to imagine a more futile pursuit. More

Toll Road Item May Threaten Session
from The Austin American-Statesman
The spoiler of Gov. Rick Perry's midsummer's dream of a three-day special session could be the "Nichols language." The consensus seems to be that few problems exist with the first two items on Perry's session "call" - essentially the allowable agenda for the session - that would extend the life of five state agencies, including the Texas Department of Transportation, and allow TxDOT to issue $2 billion in debt. More

Study to Identify Needs for Regional Drainage System
from The Brownsville Herald
The Rio Grande Valley is developing a regional plan to revamp its drainage systems for the first time in four decades. The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council is using a $3.5 million federal grant to build a consolidated plan for improving drainage in the four-county area. The study funded by the Economic Development Administration will identify drainage projects with a significant regional impact for potential federal funding. More

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National Guard to Seek Volunteers for Border
from The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle
The Obama administration is developing plans to seek up to 1,500 National Guard volunteers to step up the military's counter-drug efforts along the Mexican border, senior administration officials said. The plan is a stopgap measure being worked out between the Defense Department and the Homeland Security Department, and comes despite Pentagon concerns about committing more troops to the border - a move some officials worry will be seen as militarizing the region. More

Rural Economic Director Named
from The San Antonio Express-News
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday announced the appointment of Francisco Valentin Jr. as the Texas state director for rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA Rural Development oversees loans and loan guarantees totaling more than $114 billion, as well as 40 housing, business and community infrastructure programs through 500 national, state and local offices. More

Green Goals Part of Historic Preservation Topic
from The San Antonio Express-News
A historic preservation plan in the works for San Antonio is aimed at protecting the city's character, as well as trees and other natural resources. Support for “green” development has re-energized the preservation movement, said Shanon Wasielewski, the city's historic preservation officer. “The idea of preservation being tied to sustainability has been around since the 1980s. But more people are talking about it now,” she said. More

Dallas County Officials to Vote Again Today on Inland Port Plan
from The Dallas Morning News via The Denton Chronicle
Dallas County commissioners are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to take part in a regional planning effort for the inland port south of Interstate 20, which still lacks adequate roads and water and sewer service that are key to its growth. The county's reconsideration of its role in the planning process would likely give it new life. More

Homebuilders Association Kicks Off Eco-Friendly Construction Plan
from The Killeen Daily Herald
At its monthly membership meeting July 15, the Central Texas Homebuilders Association will kick off a Green Building Program patterned after one currently effective in Houston, a voluntary effort to improve the eco-friendliness of the construction industry to respond to increasing customer demand and just for the sake of eco-friendliness. CTHBA immediate past president Carol Bass said she was impressed by efforts of the Texas Association of Builders and other local affiliates at meetings in Austin about a year ago and started doing research on her own. 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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