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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Aug. 24, 2010

Drones, agents to increase
The San Antonio Express-News    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Unmanned aircraft and new agents deployed to Texas and Southwestern states will provide blanket surveillance to better secure the border and clear the way for Congress to tackle immigration reform, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. Additional unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were included in a recently passed $600 million border security bill. They will be a "force multiplier" to the ranks of Border Patrol and Customs agents, which also will increase by 1,500 personnel, Napolitano said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News. More

Fed's Evans says US recovery uncertain as housing not 'out of the woods'
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said that while the housing market and U.S. economy have shown signs of improvement, recovery isn't yet assured. "Although there are some signs of general economic recovery and some evidence of home-price stabilization, we are certainly not out of the woods," Evans said in a speech in Indianapolis. The recovery "seems to be extremely modest" and the central bank's "accommodative policy is appropriate," he said in reply to an audience question. More

New poll, old story: Perry leads White
The Houston Chronicle Texas Politics Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll shows not much has changed in the governor's race; incumbent Republican Rick Perry is leading Democrat Bill White by 49 percent to 41 percent. Neither major party candidate appears to be gaining any ground in Texas' gubernatorial race, with Republican incumbent Rick Perry still holding a small lead. More

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Perry's spare schedule feeds transparency concerns
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Bill White criticized Rick Perry in June for "working part time" after his schedule for the first six months of 2010 showed an average of seven hours of state business per week, Perry responded that he doesn't write down much of his work for the state. By contrast, Perry's counterparts in California, New York and Florida do write down what they do, and they make their schedules readily available to the public. More

Texas Republicans outdo Democrats in D.C. fundraising
The Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Back home in Texas, Washington, D.C., is the place Republican lawmakers love to hate. But they sure love its money. A Houston Chronicle analysis of campaign contributions to the Texas congressional delegation found that Texas Republicans have received more money from Washington interests than their Democratic colleagues and challengers. More

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Texas Supreme Court sets hearing in effort to get travel records from the governor's protective detail
The Houston Chronicle Texas Politics Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Supreme Court has set a Sept. 15 hearing for oral arguments in efforts by the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and the Austin American-Statesman to obtain copies of travel vouchers for the governor's protective detail. The Texas Department of Public Safety has lost in district court and in the Third Court of Appeals in its effort to withhold the records on the grounds of homeland security. More

Answers are few as fingers pointed
The Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Clear answers to the question of what caused the deadly Deepwater Horizon accident continued to elude investigators Monday as another week of hearings kicked off with back-and-forth finger-pointing. Attorneys representing BP and Transocean workers tried to discredit each other's versions of the conditions leading up to the accident through their questioning of three witnesses on first of five scheduled days of testimony in Houston. More

An interview with Debra Medina
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Debra Medina finished third in this year's Republican primary for governor behind incumbent Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. But the former Wharton County GOP chair spooked the two veterans with a populist campaign that in some ways paralleled the Tea Party movement, whose key element, here and elsewhere, is a deep antipathy toward incumbents of either party. Months later, she's still hoping some of her ideas will catch traction in the remaining weeks of the election season. And while she hasn't decided whether she'll seek office again, she told the Tribune last week that she's working with lawmakers to pass laws that "protect life, liberty and property." More

BexarMet board votes to discuss allegations in open
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A month after a Bexar Metropolitan Water District employee accused the utility of falsely recording $3 million in impact fees to inflate its revenues, the BexarMet board discussed the issue at a public meeting. Board member Andy Carr made a motion to have the discussion about the accusations by business analyst Gilbert Herrera out of executive session so the public would know what was happening. More

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Texas to require insurers to justify 'unreasonable' premium rate rises
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Department of Insurance is about to change its longtime policy of allowing uncontested insurance rate increases of up to 50 percent without interference, officials said. State regulators will require insurance companies to justify "unreasonable" premium rate increases under the new federal health care overhaul, the Austin American-Statesman reported. State officials say they have always had that authority but have used it sparingly, the newspaper reported. More

El Paso's per capita income up
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
El Paso's personal income and per capita income grew last year while much of the nation saw a decline, new federal data show. Las Cruces also had income increases last year. Government jobs, particularly military jobs, helped El Paso's personal income increase last year, the data show. More

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