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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Sept. 21, 2010

Home construction jumps 10.5% in August
Associated Press via Google    Share   Share on
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Home construction increased last month and applications for building permits also grew. But the gains were driven mainly by apartment and condominium construction, not the much larger single-family homes sector. Construction of new homes and apartments rose 10.5 percent in August from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 598,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's the highest level since April. Construction activity rose 34 percent in the West and was up 22 percent in the Midwest and 7 percent in the South. However, construction fell by 24 percent in the Northeast. More

Texas reaped $4.6 billion from federal stimulus
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American taxpayers have thrown $4.6 billion into emergency projects across Texas over the past 19 months to salvage the Lone Star State economy — creating or saving 47,704 jobs as of July, a review of federal records shows. Amid the nation's worst downturn since the Great Depression, that means each Texas job has cost taxpayers $96,727, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of federal stimulus spending. The stimulus-related jobs are spread across the state, from Abilene to Zavalla, and have paid for everything from airport runways to video recorders. More

Perry, White speak to Arab American voters in Houston
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Earlier this year, hair care executive Farouk Shami had his sights set on snatching GOP Gov. Rick Perry's job by taking on Bill White in the Democratic primary. But Monday night, six months after White trounced Shami, Shami treated them both as old buddies. Shami and Perry — and later Shami and White — shared the stage at an Arab-American Voters forum designed to encourage voter participation. More

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Perry's Asia trip security cost $129 thousand
Associated Press via Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Officers who protect Gov. Rick Perry on out-of-state trips cost taxpayers more than $129,000 for his weeklong trip to Asia in June, according to figures obtained by The Associated Press. Lawyers for the state have fought in court to keep secret the details of Texas Department of Public Safety security costs for Perry's travel. The DPS does release totals for expense categories — such as airfare, hotels and overtime — and those costs for Perry's trip to China, Taiwan and Korea were obtained by the AP under a Texas Public Information Act request. More

Gov. Rick Perry lauds conservative bloggers as RedState gathering begins
Austin American-Statesman Postcards Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry encouraged the hundreds of RedState bloggers who are in town for a weekend gathering to continue to be the "firebrand to rally the people," after he kicked off the summit at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Austin with a few one-liners and reflections on his favorite Constitutional amendments. Presumably referring to newspaper and television reporters, he said, "I know some of you might be saying bringing RedState to Texas is like bringing ice to Eskimos." More

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County approves tax hike
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Higher county taxes and more cuts to county services are coming when the fiscal year starts Oct. 1. In a compromise that appears to have pleased no one, the County Commissioners Court voted Monday to raise the tax rate 2 cents, or 5.8 percent. The average home in the county is worth $122,000, and the average increase will be $23.45 a year, to $436. The commissioners also made more cuts and reallocated funds worth $5.2 million to the general fund — already the subject of more than $10 million in cuts. More

Fort Worth budget is set for final council vote
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When City Council members started discussing next year's municipal budget eight months ago, they talked about changing the way Fort Worth does business. They wanted to merge departments, trim spending everywhere — including public safety — and reform the pension and retiree health care systems. More

Court dismisses Peña's appeal
Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ruben R. Peñ's election contest against Ernie L. Hernandez Jr. for the Democratic Party's nomination for Cameron County Pct. 2 commissioner was dismissed by the 13th Court of Appeals. The appellate court stated that in it had "no choice," but to do so. The court indicated that even if Pena had good grounds for the contest, it had to dismiss the lawsuit because the period for voters to request mail-in ballots for the general election began Sept. 3 and is underway. More

Voters backing higher school taxes
Austin American-Statesman First Reading Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We often hear that Texans hate higher taxes, and that may very well be true. But with overwhelming frequency, voters who are asked by their local school boards this year whether they want to raise property taxes to provide more money for education are saying, "Yes, we do." More

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Dallas-Fort Worth home listings rise 15% in a year
Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of for sale signs is growing in North Texas neighborhoods, and an increase in foreclosed houses coming on the market is part of the cause, analysts say. Sales listings in the Dallas area have grown almost 5 percent in the last three months, according to a new report from Altos Research. The number of houses on the market is 15 percent higher than a year ago, the latest statistics from the Realtors' Multiple Listing Service show. More

Flood watches cover parts of southeast Texas
San Antonio Express News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More rain is forecast for parts of the Texas coast as remnants of Hurricane Karl are blamed for storms and flooding. The National Weather Service says a flash flood watch was in effect Tuesday for Live Oak, Bee, Goliad, Victoria, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces, San Patricio, Aransas, Refugio and Calhoun counties. Karl made landfall on Mexico's Gulf Coast last Friday. More

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