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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Aug. 11, 2011

US looks outside the box to stem housing glut
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the real estate market continuing to drag down the economy, federal officials are seeking ideas from investors and others about ways to rent some of the nearly 250,000 foreclosed homes owned by government-controlled entities such as Fannie Mae. The decision to solicit public comment came as the pace of foreclosures nationwide declined again last month, according to RealtyTrac Inc. More

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Construction employment inches up to 15-month high in July but threat of budget gridlock may jeopardize public construction activity
AGC of America    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Construction employment inched up by 8,000 jobs to a 15-month high in July but remained far below the peak set in early 2006, according to an analysis of new federal employment data released recently by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said a grim outlook for public sector construction activity will act as a drag on expanding private sector construction. They urged lawmakers to pass adequate long-term funding for public projects, without unnecessary strings attached. More

2011's top political donors
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 15 largest donors to Texas politicians and PACs gave a total of $4.7 million in the first six months of 2011, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of Texas Ethics Commission filings. The biggest beneficiary of their largesse: the Texans for Lawsuit Reform Political Action Committee. More

Congressional committee to cut debt forming
The Associated Press via The Eagle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republicans named a mix of partisans and pragmatists to the new congressional committee charged with striking a debt-cutting compromise. While members of both parties expressed urgency over controlling surging budget shortfalls, others were pessimistic that the bipartisan panel would overcome deep political divides. More

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2010 Census: Tarrant housing took a hit
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New 2010 Census figures starkly illustrate the reverberations of the recession and the accompanying housing woes in some Tarrant County cities. The percentage of vacant houses shot up in the tier of fast-growing suburban cities that ring Fort Worth, such as Burleson, Crowley and Mansfield, where subdivisions mushroomed during the go-go days of development that skidded to a halt in 2008. More

Editorial: Toasts & Roasts: We're not the 'shame of America,' and here's a round of toasts to prove it
The Lufkin Daily News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This week we offer a toast to Huntington Police Chaplain Lamar Denby for his unselfish work in comforting accident victims, their families and the law enforcement and emergency personnel who deal with traumatic situations. More

Economists see dramatic Fed action unless economy improves
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some economists say the Federal Reserve will likely take dramatic steps in coming months to head off another recession. If inflation eases, the job market worsens or stocks continue to slide, "It's my sense that policymakers are going to be aggressive," says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. More

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Petition may force El Paso City Council vote on Trans Mountain land
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fight over what to do with land surrounding Trans Mountain Road's western reach might not be over. El Paso City Council representatives would be required to reconsider designating about 800 acres on Trans Mountain just west of Franklin Mountains State Park as open space if a petition submitted to the Municipal Clerk's office is successful. More

Opinion: Finding middle ground on EPA-Texas electric squabble
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas' grudge match with the Environmental Protection Agency is getting nastier and riskier, with the fallout threatening to reach the state's power grid. Want another reason to worry about the lights staying on? Or how about another hit to the economy? You've heard lots of political posturing about Texas' way of life being threatened by an overreaching federal government. This time, Gov. Rick Perry has a point. More

Fed: Rates likely to stay near zero into 2013
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wall Street bounced back in dramatic fashion Tuesday with its biggest gain in two years, seemingly ignoring a new warning from the Federal Reserve that the outlook for the struggling U.S. economy had turned significantly darker. The Fed's gloomier view was accompanied by an unprecedented pledge that it will likely keep a key short-term interest rate exceptionally low until at least mid-2013. More

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Selling the high price of security on the border
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
International Security Agency, a private security firm with offices in Colorado and Houston, announced that it has received the required licenses from the Texas Department of Public Safety to operate locally. Its mission is to stop cartel-style violence in the United States before it starts. The sales pitch combines patriotism, politics and security and fits well with the mythic ethos of the west: If the government cannot protect its citizens, it's up to the individual. More

The Fed's disappointing no exit announcement
Yahoo Finance    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Federal Open Market Committee, the arm of the central bank that sets interest rate policy, released a statement that was poised to answer two questions. First, what is the Fed's assessment of the economy? And second, what actions is it prepared to take to help boost economic growth and employment? Now we've got the answers: Poor, and not much. More

TxDOT says new Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge could cost $800 million
The Associationd Press via The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State engineers who a decade ago decided that Corpus Christi needs a new Harbor Bridge have determined the cost could reach $800 million. Department of Transportation engineers told a public meeting that the bridge, built in 1959, needs to be replaced with a taller, more saltwater-resistant span. More
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