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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Dec. 21, 2010

Texas to leap forward in Congress
Associated Press via Houston Chronicle    Share   Share on
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Texas is poised to gain more congressional seats than any other state when the U.S. Census Bureau releases key population figures for reapportionment. The data being released Tuesday will likely show Texas gaining three or four new seats in the U.S. House, an increase that figures to lead the nation regardless. A heavy influx of new residents — many of whom are Hispanics — sparked the gains in the nation's second-largest state. More

Tax relief bill includes more positives than negatives for builders
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the two-year extension of all of the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts as its centerpiece, Congress last week approved a major tax-cut package negotiated by President Obama and top Senate Republicans that is designed to provide tax relief for all working Americans and spur job growth. H.R. 4853 — The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 — cleared the Senate by an overwhelming 81-to-19 margin on Dec. 15 and was approved by the House a day later by a vote of 277 to 148. The President sign the bill into law on Dec. 17. Though imperfect, NAHB supported the legislation because it will provide a measure of stability for American working families and home builders. More

Next Texas appliance rebate program begins
Associated Press via Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on
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Advance reservations are not required for the latest energy-efficient appliance rebate program in Texas offering more than $18 million in federal stimulus funds. The program that began Monday involves a traditional mail-in rebate system for residential customers. More

Now they have to win as Republicans
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Reps. Aaron Peña of Edinburg and Allan Ritter of Nederland ditched the Democrats last week, surrounded by grinning Republicans who gathered at a packed news conference to welcome them into the party and to claim a House supermajority for the GOP. Now the Republicans' job is to hold those two seats — one on union turf and the other in a corner of the state that's allergic to elephants. Ritter is following a time-tested strategy that has worked for others. Peña is challenging political history. More

Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) protects you.
Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) has provided warranties to Texas builders for over 10 years. Now we offer A rated Contractors General Liability and Builders Risk insurance through our sister company, Bonded Builders Insurance Services (BBIS). This Protection Plus program is available from local Texas insurance agents. For information on our warranty and insurance programs, contact David Broyles, Vice President, BBIS, 877 219-9519, ext.4368 more

State to buy Devils River Ranch
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted Monday to add nearly 18,000 acres to the state's inventory of protected lands and, in so doing, took a significant step toward preserving what many regard as the most pristine river in Texas. Using a remarkable pool of private contributions totaling more than $10 million, the commission agreed to buy the Devils River Ranch from Dallas-area home builder Rod Sanders for $13 million. More

Texas, home to Big Oil, takes shine to solar power
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas has long been home to Big Oil companies that specialize in extracting petroleum from hard-to-reach places. Now the hip college town of Austin is vying to become the epicenter of a potentially giant market for carbon-free electricity generated by the hot Texas sun. The rest of Texas may follow, if the state legislature passes incentives that will change the economics of buying panels from hippie cool to low-price hot. More

Sunset Commission says comptroller should take over tech co-op
Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Comptroller Susan Combs should run a group-purchasing program that lets cities, counties, school districts and public colleges buy high-tech products at cut rates, the Sunset Advisory Commission proposed. An influential lawmaker who wants to give the task to Combs sharply criticized the Department of Information Resources, which now runs the buying co-op, for its handling of an unrelated matter — an $863 million contract with IBM to manage state agencies' data processing. More

Rebound hopes evaporate
Amarillo Globe-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas Panhandle officials say a lake developed four decades ago to serve as a municipal water source for the arid area has turned into a disappointment. Built in the 1960s by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as a municipal water source, the Sanford reservoir never has been more than 60 percent full and now is at less than 1 percent of capacity. "Originally, the estimate was it could produce 126,000 acre-feet (of water) per year. That's what the pipeline (taking water to cities) was designed to handle," said Kent Satterwhite, general manager of the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority. More

Dune replenishment set for South Padre Island's north end
Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Town officials here have approved a major dune-building project that will move sand from the south end of the Island to shore up beaches on developments north of the town. Reuben Treviño, the Island's coastal resources manager, explained that officials plan to move more than 4,000 cubic yards of sand north to create a system of dunes near the Hilton Garden Inn and La Quinta Hotel. More

Stricter rules for entry are ignored at border
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 18 months after U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors were supposed to start enforcing stringent ID requirements at the nation's land borders, millions of travelers are still being admitted without passports or other secure IDs, a new government audit shows. An Office of Inspector General report released Monday found that CBP remains unprepared to fully implement the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which officially took effect in June 2009 and requires all travelers, including U.S. citizens, to carry passports or one of a handful of other forms of secure ID. More

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Texas mulls alternatives to the gas tax
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the next several months, hundreds of electric and plug-in hybrid cars will arrive in Texas cities. The vehicles will emit little pollution and generally be far cheaper to operate than conventional vehicles. For the state government, however, the advent of alternative-fuel vehicles creates a long-term concern: They will generate little or no gas tax revenue — a key funding source that the state relies on to keep roads and bridges in good repair. More
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