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TAB News Briefs
Dec. 4, 2008
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Perry Doesn’t Like Aid Package, But He’ll Take It
from The Austin American-Statesman
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not in favor of a promised effort by the Democratic-led Congress to aid states facing budget troubles - but Perry is not going to reject that federal money if it does flow to his state, a spokeswoman said. Perry, who joined governors Tuesday in a closed-door meeting with President-elect Barack Obama in Philadelphia, believes a discussed two-year, $500 billion plan is bad public policy, his spokeswoman Allison Castle said. More


Gov. Perry Meets with Industry Leaders to Assess Impact of National Economy on Texas
from The Office of the Governor
Gov. Rick Perry met with leaders of key trade associations to hear first-hand how the current national economic situation is impacting Texas industries. This is the third meeting Gov. Perry has held with key industry and state leaders to discuss the future of the Texas economy. “Texas has created a business friendly environment where 1,000 people a day move to our state to work and raise a family,” Gov. Perry said. “With a turbulent national economy, we must continue working together with the private and public sectors to maintain our state’s competitive edge and ensure future prosperity.” More

State Homebuilders Group Vows to Continue Working With Governor and Lawmakers to Keep Texas Economy Strong
from TAB
The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) was among several trade associations that met with Governor Rick Perry to discuss the current national economic situation and its impact on key Texas industries and the state economy. TAB’s attendees include TAB Executive Director Scott Norman and TAB President and Amarillo homebuilder Ron Connally. More

Perry: EPA Regulations Threaten to Strangle Texas Business
from The Houston Chronicle
Texas is showing the nation how to successfully diversify energy supplies while producing them in a more efficient, responsible fashion. We produce more energy than any other state, supplying the nation twenty percent of its oil and one third of its natural gas. Texas is also host to a quarter of the nation's refining capacity, and nearly sixty percent of the nation’s chemical manufacturing. However, a recent proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by expanding the parameters of the Clean Air Act would disproportionately affect Texas and inflict significant damage to our energy industry and the nation as a whole. More

Texas Should Invest Surplus in Our Future
from The San Antonio Express-News
President-elect Barack Obama is not the only elected official confronted with a daunting and growing list of pressing concerns. Texas legislators - both the Austin veterans and their newly-elected colleagues - will be coming to the Texas Capitol in January prepared for their own set of headaches. However, unlike the federal government and most states, Texas is sitting in the economic catbird seat - at least for the moment. More

State Leaders On Guard As Economy Slows
from The Houston Chronicle
Gov. Rick Perry and the state comptroller warned Wednesday that the national economic crisis is starting to seep into state government, but they said Texas is in better position than most states to weather the storm. Slower sales tax growth and other financial factors, like sagging public pension funds, are among their concerns and will be awaiting lawmakers when the Legislature convenes in January. Comptroller Susan Combs will tell legislators immediately before the session how much state money is available to spend. More

Activist: Pay to Craddick’s Daughter Violates Law
from The Austin American-Statesman
A Democratic activist filed a complaint Tuesday accusing House Speaker Tom Craddick of violating a state law prohibiting the payment of dependent children with campaign donations. The twist is that Craddick's daughter, Christi, is a lawyer in her 30s - well beyond the minor child that the law targeted - who has been paid a six-figure sum by her father from his campaign donations. More

Texas Press Association State Capital Highlights
from The Blanco County News
Gov. Rick Perry on November 24 urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to pass a proposed framework that would toughen regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, early filing of bills continues, and the Legislative Budget Board limits the state budget. More

Crowd of Candidates Challenging Craddick
from The Tyler Morning Telegraph
The race for Texas House Speaker is more than just an Austin drama. It has broad implications for the state and its future. So far, nine state representatives have announced intentions to challenge Speaker Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland. The challengers include Pete Gallego, D-Alpine; Scott Hochberg, D-Houston; Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock; Jim Keffer, R-Eastland; Tommy Merritt, R-Longview; Allan Ritter, D-Nederland; Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston; Burt Solomons, R-Carollton; and Sylvester Turner, D-Houston. More

Job Cuts Pass 1 Million Mark, But Texas Holds On
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Job cuts nationwide soared to a six-year high in November, the largest monthly layoff toll since January 2002, when the economy was struggling to recover from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Chicago-based glo- bal outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Wednesday. "Texas has had job growth over the past year, although the pace has been slowing," said economist Ray Perryman, president and chief executive of The Perryman Group in Waco. "Texas will certainly not escape the effects of the global financial situation, but we are not as vulnerable as most areas. We will grow at a slower pace as a result of recent events, but we will not experience an economic downturn in the state." More

Perry Warns of Fallout from National Recession
from The Dallas Morning News
State leaders acknowledged Wednesday that the tentacles of the national recession could start choking the Texas economy, with Gov. Rick Perry saying that tax rebates are off the table and that the state's multibillion-dollar retirement funds might need to be reinforced with state money. Still, the governor was quick to point out that Texas is one of only nine states without a budget deficit and probably has a bigger surplus than any state in the nation. More

Paulson Considers New Plan to Resuscitate U.S. Housing Market
from Bloomberg
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is considering a new plan to reduce mortgage rates in another bid to revive the U.S. housing market, a government official said. The Treasury, which already has a program to buy mortgage- backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, could step up those purchases to drive down interest rates on some loans to 4.5 percent, the official said on condition of anonymity. The plan is preliminary and could change. More

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