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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           July 14, 2015


Sunbelt Builders Show
 



Temporary enforcement policy for construction work in confined spaces
U.S. Department of Labor
Attached please find a memo from Jim Maddux, Director of OSHA's Directorate of Construction, through Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary, entitled "Temporary Enforcement Policy for Construction Work in Confined Spaces." Although the new Confined Spaces in Construction standard goes into effect on Aug. 3, 2015, requests for extensions have indicated a need for additional time for training and acquisition of necessary equipment. While OSHA will not delay the effective date, we will postpone full enforcement of the new standard for a 60-day period from Aug. 3, 2015 to Oct. 3, 2015. During this period, OSHA will not issue citations to an employer making good faith efforts to comply, as long as the employer is in compliance with the training requirements of either the new standard or the former CFR 1926.21 (b)(6)(i). Employers who do not train their employees consistent with either of these will be cited for violation of the new standard. State Plans are not required to implement this delay in full enforcement of the standard, but they may choose to do so.
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Time to focus on you at the 2015 Sunbelt Builders Show™
TAB
In three weeks the Texas Association of Builders will host its 15th annual Sunbelt Builders Show™. This year's event has developed into one of the best in recent history. The schedule includes top keynote speakers, timely education sessions and hours of networking and trade show floor availability. The two-day event is set for July 29-30 at the Gaylord Texan.

You will be moved by three-time Dallas Super Bowl Champion Chad Hennings' "Living Excellence" opening session, and you will learn a few nerdy building-related tech tools from Beth Ziesenis in one of the two general sessions. Ross Ramsey and Dr. Jim Gaines will provide you with an update on the 2015 housing forecast and how the 84th Legislative Session will affected our industry.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect with others in the housing industry and expand your knowledge. Registration is open and special event tickets are still available.

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Comptroller's office offers free state tax seminars for business owners
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
The Comptroller's office will conduct 18 free taxpayer seminars across the state in July and August. At these seminars, taxpayers can learn how to properly fill out tax forms and file and pay taxes electronically. Information about e-services also will be available to help taxpayers manage their online accounts. Comptroller representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance to attendees.
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Texas is suing the EPA — again
The Texas Tribune
Once again, Texas is suing the federal Environmental Projection Agency­. Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit over the agency's rejection of parts of a Texas clean air program, launching the state's second battle against EPA regulations in less than two weeks. Texas has sued the agency 21 times since President Obama took office in 2009.
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Court's ruling on redistricting divides East Texas lawmakers
Longview News-Journal
A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gives hope to some who want to give partisanship the boot when it comes to drawing political jurisdictions. Others oppose so-called independent commissions like the one that was vindicated June 29 by the high court. The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision, that a voter-created commission in Arizona is an acceptable alternative to having lawmakers draw districts for themselves and Congress, was overshadowed by that week's rulings on gay marriage and Obamacare.
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More highway funding sources going to November ballot
Midland Reporter-Telegram
A vote on funding for the state highway fund is headed to the November ballot, according to Texas Transportation Commission chair Tryon Lewis. He said that Proposition 7, which is one of seven amendments to the Constitution on the Nov. 3 ballot, will give needed stability to the state highway fund. The additional money will be the surplus from state sales and use tax and the tax imposed on the sale, use, or rental of a motor vehicle to the state highway fund.
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Scenes of a debate over Big Bend pipeline
The Texas Tribune
Two companies are teaming up to build a 143-mile pipeline to carry natural gas through the Big Bend region and into Mexico. An unlikely coalition is fighting to thwart the project. See these images related to the battle over the plan.
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Are climbing Texas home values finally slowing?
Houston Chronicle
New projections for Texas home values raise the possibility that the state's strong market growth might finally be slowing. After a vigorous climb beginning in 2011 after the recession, Texas home value growth rates are forecast for 1.8 percent over the coming year, markedly short of the 8.3 percent increase seen over the last 12 months. Based on growing home price index values, the hottest areas in Texas over the last 12 months have been metropolitan Victoria with 14.15 percent growth, Midland with 13.36 percent growth and Texarkana with a 12.19 percent increase. Strong HPI growth like this generally indicates a hot market where buyers are willing to pay higher prices for homes.
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Otto, House's lead budget writer, announces he won't seek re-election
The Texas Tribune
After a decade in the Texas House and fresh off his first session as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, state Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, announced Tuesday that he is not planning to seek re-election. "I want to thank the voters of House District 18 for their support and encouragement over the years," Otto said in a statement. "This was not an easy decision, but I never intended for this experience to be a lifelong endeavor. After accomplishing much of what I set out to do when first elected, the time is right for me to step aside."
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5 unexpected facts about millennial homebuyers
CultureMap Dallas
There are about 79 million millennials in the United States, and their purchasing power is estimated to be $170 billion per year. This powerful demographic, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represents the largest group of homebuyers at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X. But when it comes to millennial homebuyer behavior, it can be difficult to distinguish fact vs. fiction. We looked at information from a recent Pardee Homes and Builder survey, Realtor.com and the National Association of Realtors to cut through the noise.
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Dallas developers make big push in DFW with $775M in new construction
The Dallas Business Journal
Two Dallas-Fort Worth master-planned communities totaling $775 million at build-out — one in Denton County and another in Wylie — are under construction after two Dallas-based developers have formed a new joint venture, called Allegiant Realty Partners. The master-planned communities — Bozman Farms and ArrowBrooke — will bring thousands of homes to the region and is part of a larger strategy of the newly formed partnership between Dallas-based Siepiela Interests and Dallas-based Taylor-Duncan Interests to quickly expand in the Lone Star state.
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More homes planned for master-planned community near Exxon Mobil campus
Houston Business Journal
More homes are planned for a growing master-planned community north of Houston. CDC Houston, the local subsidiary of New York-based Coventry Development Corp., is looking at announcing three new neighborhoods in Springwoods Village, an 1,800-acre community that is home to Exxon Mobil Corp.'s new campus. The first neighborhood will be small and feature rows of townhomes. The second will have about 50 single-family homes. And the third will feature between 70 and 80 homes.
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Texas home builder bets big on Chicago suburbs
Crain's Chicago Business
A Texas home builder that rode into the Chicago market a little more than a year ago already has projects under way in a dozen suburbs, with plans to add at least one more this summer. The ambitious entry has David Weekley Homes signs sprouting up on a mix of single lots and subdivisions everywhere from DuPage County to the North Shore. In late June, Weekley sold a newly completed home on a single lot on Eagle Street in Naperville for almost $765,000, one of six homes it has sold so far this year. In Glenview, Weekley recently started preparing the 21-acre site of a former religious retreat center where it plans 48 houses priced from the mid-$700,000s to the $900,000s.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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