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July 30, 2009
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Hutchison Plants to Resign This Fall to Take On Perry Full Time
from The Dallas Morning News
The Republican race for governor devolved into a schoolyard taunt of who should be the quitter, after Kay Bailey Hutchison said that she would resign her Senate seat within four months to challenge Rick Perry full time. More


Report Shows DFW Foreclosures Down, But News Isn't All Good
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Fewer homeowners in Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington faced foreclosure in the first half of the year than they did in the same period last year, but numbers in a national report show that the region is still not out of the woods. In all, 18,037 foreclosure notices were sent to Metroplex homeowners from January to June, a 16.5 percent drop from the same period a year ago. However, it was a 6.6 percent increase from the last six months of 2008, California-based RealtyTrac says. More

Survey: Most Regions Recession is Easing or Economic Activity Stabilizing
from The Associated Press via The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The economy is finally showing signs of stabilizing in some regions - especially in parts of the Northeast and Midwest - bolstering hopes of a broader-based recovery this year. A Federal Reserve snapshot of economic conditions found that most of the Fedís 12 regions indicated either that the recession is easing or that economic activity had "begun to stabilize, albeit at a low level." More

Perry May Move Up Special Election to Replace Hutchison
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Politex Blog
Gov. Rick Perry said he might move up the date of the special election to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison because too many important things are going on in Washington, D.C. Perry answered reporters questions at R.L. Turner High School in Carrolton after a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 3, an education accountability bill. More

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What Hutchison's Move Means for Everyone Else
from The Austin American-Statesman First Reading Blog
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said she will leave the Senate in October or November to run for governor, provided that Gov. Rick Perry runs for re-election. Hutchison put an interesting wrinkle in her statements Wednesday: That she would hold onto the seat if Perry dropped out of the race. Perry has used a similar tactic at several points this year - publicly dangling the possibility that his opponent might decide against running. More

More Agents Hit the Streets to Find Wage, Hour Violations
from The Houston Chronicle
Low-wage workers weren't the only winners last week when the minimum wage increased to $7.25 an hour. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis also announced the agency is hiring 250 more federal wage and hour investigators. It's welcome news to the thousands of workers cheated out of minimum wage and overtime pay each year. Currently, the agency has about 650 investigators, but even with the increase, Solis said the agency is barely getting back to its 2001 staffing levels. More

White Fights Back Against CenterPoint's Ike Charge
from The Houston Chronicle
Mayor Bill White has threatened litigation against CenterPoint Energy if the utility does not drop $22 million in Hurricane Ike-related costs it is attempting to pass along to ratepayers. The dispute, which will be considered Friday at a hearing before the Public Utility Commission of Texas, is not likely to change the $1.83 monthly increase on Houston-area bills to pay for the $677 million cost of restoring power after Ike. More

More Homeowners Becoming Landlords
from The San Antonio Express-News
More Texas homeowners are becoming landlords, according to Allstate. The insurance company saw a 102 percent increase in the number of homeowners switching their policies to landlord policies in the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2008. More

New Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected
from The Associated Press via El Paso Times
The number of newly laid-off workers filing first-time claims for jobless benefits rose last week, the government said, though the increase was mostly due to seasonal distortions. A department analyst said the increase comes after claims were artificially depressed earlier this month by the timing of temporary auto factory shutdowns, which happened earlier this year than in most years. More

Law Makes Failure to Comply with Hurricane Evacuations Illegal
from The Brownsville Herald
A new law takes effect Sept. 1, which gives county judges and city mayors the authority to have people arrested if they fail to comply with mandatory evacuation orders during disasters. The law also states a county or municipality can bill the individual, who failed to comply with the mandatory evacuation order and later needed to be evacuated, for services rendered. More

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