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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources May 19, 2011

First-time homebuyers rise but not enough to lift the weak housing market
The Associated Press via The Minneapolis Star-Tribume    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer people purchased previously occupied homes in April. But foreclosure sales declined while activity among first-time homebuyers increased. The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously occupied homes fell 0.8 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million units. More

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San Antonio tree ordinance is in danger
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
San Antonio senators on Thursday will ask their colleagues to reconsider a vote taken Wednesday on a bill that was hastily amended with a measure that nullifies San Antonio's tree ordinance in the extraterritorial jurisdiction. More

Key fiscal bills stuck; Perry gets involved
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State leaders shuttled back and forth across the Capitol on Wednesday in an effort to reach a budget accord and avoid a special legislative session this summer. As they scurried out of backroom negotiations, Gov. Rick Perry and others offered terse assurances that a deal was within reach. Those public comments, however, belied the reality: Neither side has moved much since striking an agreement late Monday on everything except education spending. More

Texas House approves expansion of radioactive waste site
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas House on Tuesday passed a measure that could increase the amount of radioactive waste dumped in Texas and might also enrich a chief contributor to Gov. Rick Perry along the way. The legislation, passed on a 108-36 vote, would allow the state to accept out-of-state, low-level radioactive waste to be disposed of in the Waste Control Specialists facility in Andrews County in West Texas. Senate Bill 1504 also calls for a surcharge on most out-of-state waste to be paid to the State of Texas. More

Texas legislature's sanctuary cities bill takes a hit
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Passage of a bill that would allow local police to enforce federal immigration laws seemed a foregone conclusion until Wednesday. That's when a Senate committee gutted the legislation and replaced it with another unrelated bill. The maneuver stemmed from a dispute among Republicans in the state House and the Senate. More

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Lingering drought, rising fears
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Lower Colorado River Authority on Wednesday sounded the alarm about the current drought, now in its eighth month, and called on its customers to conserve water as summer approaches and the drought intensifies. "We are very concerned, because this drought looks as if it may be one of the most severe we've seen in decades," LCRA General Manager Tom Mason said. Mason added that the LCRA is following its state-approved water-management plan. More

State's budget gulf narrows with new revenue numbers
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An improving Texas economy provided House and Senate budget negotiators a last-minute, $1.2 billion infusion of state money on Tuesday that could help bridge the gulf between the two chambers. But that additional revenue, announced by state Comptroller Susan Combs in the waning days of the legislative session, probably will not be enough to seal a deal on the 2012-13 budget quite yet. More

Southern Living magazine building model house in Horsehoe Bay near Austin
Austin Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The "Idea House" is being constructed in Horseshoe Bay's Escondido golf preserve, Escondido Investors LLC and Southern Living Homes Group announced on Wednesday. Officials said the home, designed by San Antonio-based Michael G. Imber Architect, will showcase Texas Hill Country style and building materials. More

Court showdown coming Friday for Lubbock, Panhandle power project
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Does a major power project planning to light Lubbock and the Panhandle with hundreds of millions of dollars even exist? High Plains Diversified Energy Corp. will face tough questions Friday from its biggest known customer, from a jilted community and from the Texas attorney general as it seeks a judge's approval for $1.5 billion in debt. More

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Texas, Tamaulipas to restore suspension bridge in stages
The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas and Mexico will restore the historic San Pedro-Roma Suspension bridge bit by bit while they wait for more funding to become available. Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation, Starr County, Roma, Miguel Aleman and Tamaulipas met Friday in Rio Grande City about the bridge between Roma and Miguel Aleman. The 83-year-old suspension bridge, the only bridge of its type over the Rio Grande between Tamaulipas and Texas, has not been used in years because of structural damage. More

How cities, states and feds are making buildings greener
Green Biz    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At USGBC's 9th annual Government Summit last week it was as clear to all in attendance that governments at every level are leading by example in building sustainability. Among the signs of progress was Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announcing an increased commitment by the U.S. Navy and Marines to build to LEED Gold, up from their previous LEED-Silver commitment. USGBC also conferred the 2011 Federal Green Building Leadership Award to both Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Hogan and the Energy Star program. More

Special session for congressional redistricting appears more likely
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The chairman of the House Redistricting Committee said Wednesday that time is running out for lawmakers to produce a congressional redistricting plan before their May 30 adjournment and expressed concern that the job may have to be completed in a special session. More

Home owners associations balk at Solomons' revisons to Senate bill
Dallas Morning News Trail Blazers Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Homeowners association representatives are screaming over potential House revisions to Senator Royce West's massive HOA bill. The House' Business and Industry committee approved the Senate's version in a quick afternoon meeting last week. Committee member Burt Solomons, who has promised to rein in "rogue" associations this session, made the changes that have riled up HOA advocates. More
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