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June 11, 2009
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Perry: Special Session is Coming
from The Houston Chronicle
Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday a special legislative session will be necessary to keep alive the state’s transportation and insurance regulatory departments but declined to say whether he also will include the contentious Republican-backed voter identification measure. More


Sprinkler Bill Puts Builders, Fire Chiefs at Odds
from The Dallas Morning News
Fire chiefs across the state are imploring Gov. Rick Perry to veto a bill that would ban cities from requiring fire sprinkler systems in new or existing homes. But their advocacy has put them at odds with the Texas Association of Builders, which says the systems are overkill and can add thousands of dollars to a home's price. More

Opinion: Perry Should Veto Attempt to Weaken Sprinkler Law
from The Longview News-Journal
Gov. Rick Perry should promptly veto a law that could affect cities' ability to regulate public safety, but it remains to be seen whether he bows to the powerful homebuilders lobby or listens to Texas firefighters. More

Commentary: Residential Sprinkler Bill Gives Home Buyers Control
from The Houston Chronicle
During the recent legislative session, Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, authored legislation that addressed a vote by the International Code Council (ICC) at its annual meeting last year that changed the International Residential Code (IRC) to essentially require all new homes to be equipped with costly fire sprinkler systems. The IRC is the building code the state requires all local cities to adopt for residential construction. More

Oil Soars Above $71, Hitting 2009 High
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Oil prices soared above $71 a barrel Wednesday to reach a 2009 high, as investors poured money into crude markets to protect themselves against the inflation risks posed by a weakening U.S. dollar. Oil, which typically trades inversely to the dollar, has more than doubled in price in three months as traders also cheered news showing the worst of a severe U.S. recession is likely over. More

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Straus Pledges to Focus on Children's Health Insurance During the Interim
from The Rio Grande Guardian
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wants to take an in-depth look at children’s health insurance before the next legislative session in 2011. "That is one of the issues that will be addressed during the interim," Straus said, at a breakfast meeting with members of the Capitol press corps. "I've already spoken to advocates for expanding the CHIP program. We are going to make every effort to make sure it receives the attention it deserves." More

Texas Takes High Rankings in Pew Clean Energy Study
from The Dallas Morning News
Texas had more clean energy jobs than every other state except California and garnered more clean energy venture capital investment than most in 2007, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts. The study shows that 55,646 people were employed in the clean energy industry in Texas. That's a large chunk of the 770,385 clean energy jobs nationwide. More

U.S. Foreclosures Fall 6 Percent in May
from The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle
The number of U.S. households on the verge of losing their homes dipped in May from April, and the annual increase was the smallest in three years. But as layoffs, rather than risky mortgages, become the main reason that borrowers default on their home loans, foreclosures likely will remain elevated this year and into 2010. More

Governor on the Mend After Bike Accident
from The San Antonio Globe-Express
Gov. Rick Perry plans to return to his Capitol office with the broken right collarbone he suffered in a cycling mishap. Perry cancelled a trip to Galveston, Corpus Christi and South Padre Island on Wednesday to adjust to his injury at home — from where he sent out a couple of tweets via his Twitter account, including a testimonial for bike helmets. More

Border Fence Completion Eludes Government
from The Associated Press via The San Antonio Globe-Express
Nearly six months after the U.S.-Mexico border fence was to be finished, a judge is demanding answers to lingering questions about how the government plans to use private property in the fence's path. Until it puts those answers in writing, a South Texas federal judge says the government can't finish the easternmost part of the fence. More

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