TAB News Briefs
June. 30, 2011

Legislative report: What survived, what died
Texas Tribune
After 170 days — 140 days in regular session and 30 in special session — Texas lawmakers cleared their desks on Wednesday and prepared for the journey out of Austin. At the beginning of the special session on May 31, Gov. Rick Perry laid out four core issues he wanted lawmakers to resolve: Balance the budget for the next two years (including a plan for cutting school funding), reform the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association's claims process, draw congressional redistricting maps, and rein in the cost of health care.More

Windstorm insurer puts forth rate hike
Houston Chronicle
As lawmakers in Austin passed a bill restricting litigation against the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the storm insurer of last resort proposed a 5 percent rate hike at a meeting in Galveston. The association board signaled it intended to stick to a long-term strategy, started last year, of implementing 5 percent increases annually until it feels rates are adequate to cover potential claims.More

Special session ends on sour, bitter note
Houston Chronicle
Weary and frustrated legislators ended 170 days of lawmaking on a low note, taking swipes at each other after the death of a high-profile bill and fielding a blistering session-ending speech attacking the Republican leadership by a tea-party-backed GOP freshman representative.More

Business lobby helps scuttle immigration curbs in Texas
Powerful business interests helped to scuttle proposed immigration restrictions in Texas, further evidence that Republicans in some states are facing resistance among their own supporters to an immigration clampdown. The "sanctuary cities" bill would have barred cities from stopping police departments from asking about immigration status of people who are detained or arrested. It died when the Texas legislature adjourned without passing it.More

Construction employment increases in 120 out of 337 metro areas between May 2010 and 2011 as construction demand remains unsteady
AGC of America
Construction employment increased in 120 out of 337 metropolitan areas between May 2010 and May 2011, declined in 162 and stayed level in 55, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the local employment data reflects the fact that overall construction employment has been unchanged for much of the past year.More

KB Home acquires 11 communities in Texas
The Associated Press via CBS MoneyWatch
KB Home has agreed to buy land in 11 communities in San Antonio, Texas, from fellow home builder Fieldstone Homes. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is comprised of 623 home sites ready for construction and 1,297 other future sites.More

San Antonio man: HOA made me plant new yard in drought
With 100-degree, hot, dry days, Armando Urdiales decided to plant a new lawn. Well, not really. It was his HOA, he said, that suggested it, after they found patches of dirt amongst the withered blades in his front yard. "That was the kicker for me. Really? You're going to tell me to grow grass in a drought," Urdiales said.More