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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jul. 24, 2012

Your vote will make a difference
HOMEPAC and TAB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Please vote in the Texas Primary Runoff Elections: Early voting ends Friday
Your vote is needed to elect HOMEPAC supported candidates in the upcoming runoff elections. Early voting is from July 23 to July 27, and election day is July 31. Visit to find out more information about this important election and for assistance in finding voting locations in your area.

Committee analyzes eminent domain
San Antonio Express News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Legislature doesn't reconvene until 2013, but it's already facing a host of sticky legal issues that balance property rights against the ways private land can be taken. The House Land and Resource Management committee recently held the first of what likely will be several hearings, concentrating the discussion on three court cases. Two of the cases pit property owners against the oil and gas industry. The third has thrown into question the ability of the Texas Open Beaches Act to guarantee the public's right to access all parts of the coastline. More

Texas adds construction jobs but sector's performance mixed
San Antonio Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas added 9,600 new construction jobs last month, the most of any state, according to Labor Department data reported by the Associated General Contractors of America. Over the past 12 months, Texas added 24,400 construction jobs for the second best record behind California. Overall, the employment picture was mixed in the construction business, with about half the states showing improvements and the other half showing declines. More

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Lieutenant governors call on President, Congress to address housing crisis
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) commends the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) for approving a resolution that underscores the importance of homeownership and calls on Washington policymakers to take action to shore up the nation's housing markets to achieve a long-lasting economic recovery. "The nation's lieutenant governors understand that Americans deeply value homeownership and that it is essential to get the housing sector back on firm ground to achieve solid job growth, build healthy communities and move our economy forward," said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg More

Early voter turnout will be critical in Texas primary runoffs
The Associated Press via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Early voting for the Texas primary runoffs has begun, and well-funded candidates will blitz the airwaves with ads and local politicians will be going door-to-door and working the phones to bring out the vote. Getting supporters to the polls is critical in runoff elections, which tend to have poor turnout. A few dozen votes made the difference in many Texas House races in the 2008 runoffs, with fewer than 6,000 people casting ballots in most districts. Perhaps more than usual, every vote will count between now and election day on July 31. More

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We have been providing quality insurance protection to the Texas building industry since 1993. Our A. M. Best Company rating is ‘A’. Our underwriting and claim staff are professional, knowledgeable and accessible. To locate an independent agent near you call Donna Black or John Gant @ 800-722-4994.

Construction jobs build area job strength
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strong job gains in construction boosted the Houston area economy last month. The Houston area added a net 7,600 jobs in June, the Texas Workforce Commission has reported. That reflects 7,900 new construction jobs. More

Hard to find room in rental home market
San Antonio Express News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even as rents rise, management companies say that the rental home market has an occupancy rate well over 90 percent. Many people have turned to renting instead of buying because they have homes elsewhere still for sale, they like the flexibility of renting or they don't yet meet the requirements for a mortgage, said James Gaines, research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. More

Windstorm insurance rate increase on hold for now
Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It appears that a growing squall over an insurance rate increase for Texas coastal residents has died down — at least for the time being. A meeting of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association's actuarial-underwriting committee that was to take place in Austin was cancelled. That committee was to have recommended an across-the-board rate increase on windstorm policies in the state's 14 coastal counties. More

June existing-home prices rise again, sales down with constrained supply
National Association of Realtors    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefExisting-home prices continued to show gains but sales fell in June with tight supplies of affordable homes limiting first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 5.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million in June from an upwardly revised 4.62 million in May, but are 4.5 percent higher than the 4.18 million-unit level in June 2011. More

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San Antonio utility deal will make state a leader in solar production
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
San Antonio's municipally owned utility has announced a landmark solar manufacturing deal that officials say will create 805 jobs and catapult Texas into the top five of the nation's solar-producing states. CPS Energy, the nation's largest municipally owned natural gas and electric utility, is leveraging its large, captive customer base to lure solar manufacturing with a 25-year power purchase agreement. More

Texas employers add 12,900 jobs in June
KWKT-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas economy added 12,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in June. Texas' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in June, from 6.9 percent in May, and down from 8.1 percent a year ago. Texas remains well below the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. "For nearly two years, employers in Texas have expanded their payrolls and kept the economic engine of Texas moving forward," said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar. "Since last year, the Texas economy has added more than 282,000 private sector jobs." More

Master Brick announces the addition of MB2 BioClay!

This innovative product is quickly becoming the first choice for builders, architects and homeowners across the country. For more information on BioClay or any of the Master Brick products call 855-208-4639. MORE

US cleanest natural gas plant to be built in Temple, Texas    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Panda Power Funds, a Dallas power plant developer, has announced that they have secured financing for a 758-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant to be built in the small Central Texas town of Temple. The natural gas plant, scheduled to be on line in 2014, will power approximately 750,000 homes in Central and North Texas, and be among the cleanest fossil-fuel generating plants in the U.S. "The plant will provide power necessary to locate future industries and jobs in the Central Texas area, and enhance Temple's economy in the near term as well", said Temple Mayor Bill Jones. More

Sales tax holiday
Window on State Government    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 2012, Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes on Aug. 17, 18 and 19 — the state's annual tax holiday. Lay-away plans can be used again this year to take advantage of the sales tax holiday. As in previous years, the law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales and use taxes, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. More

US house price index up 0.8 percent
Stock Market Wire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. house prices rose 0.8 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from April to May, according to the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency's monthly house price index. The previously reported 0.8 percent increase in April was revised downward to a 0.7 percent increase. For the 12 months ending in May of 2012, U.S. prices rose 3.7 percent. More

Galveston must replace post-Ike public housing
The Associated Press via KFDM-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leaders of a Southeast Texas city have been told that hundreds of public housing units demolished after Hurricane Ike must be replaced. Galveston Mayor Lewis Rosen and other city officials were in Washington to discuss the 2008 hurricane and rebuilding efforts. The issue involves 569 public housing units that were flooded and later torn down. More

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Coalition forms to challenge LEED rating system
Environmental Leader    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 27 business associations and trade groups have formed the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition, in a bid to support the development of a sustainable buildings standard that would challenge the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system. The formation of the coalition, which includes the US Chamber of Commerce, American Chemistry Council and the Vinyl Institute, comes as the federal General Services Administration begins its review of LEED, and as the USGBC revises the green building standard. More

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Fracking company paid Texas professor behind water contamination study
State Impact Texas    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Earlier this year, a study led by Dr. Charles "Chip" Groat for the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin made headlines for saying there was no link between fracking and groundwater contamination. But according to a new report from the Public Accountablitiy Initiative, a nonprofit watchdog group, the conclusions in Groat's report aren't as clear cut as initially reported. And Groat himself did not disclose significant financial ties to the fracking industry. More
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