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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           February 19, 2015

 



In State of the State, Abbott proposes sweeping agenda
The Texas Tribune
Gov. Greg Abbott, delivering his first major policy address to the Texas Legislature, laid out an ambitious agenda for the next two years, including an expansion of pre-kindergarten, massive tax cuts and roads as far as the traffic-glazed eye can see. It was a something-for-everyone speech, hitting on all the major initiatives he proposed in the 2014 governor's race and then some.
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Joe Straus stakes positions contrary to Dan Patrick
Austin American-Statesman
The often reserved Speaker Joe Straus opened up in an interview at the University of Texas with words that shed some light on the ideological rift between him and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Straus spoke in some of the frankest terms of his four-term tenure as speaker during an interview with James Henson, a government professor and the director of the Texas Politics Project.
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Supreme Court justice seeks legal aid for vets, change in way judges selected
Houston Chronicle
Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht called on lawmakers Wednesday to spend $4 million to help veterans navigate the legal system and warned of a "silver tsunami" of aging Texans that will result in an unprecedented growth in guardianship cases. He also used his annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Legislature to exhort lawmakers to consider decriminalizing truancy and urged reform of the way judges are selected in Texas.
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Boomerang millennials a promising sign for housing
National Association of Home Builders
A recent study of "boomerang millennials" who move out of their parents' home only to move back in may have important implications for this key demographic and what it means for the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders examined recent research conducted by Judith Dey and Charles Pierret using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997. The examination found higher incidence of "re-launch" for millennials with a bachelor's degree compared to those with a lower education attainment and higher incidence of "re-launch" for millennials from higher parental income household compared to lower parental income households. A "re-launch" occurs when a young adult moves out, returns to the parental household, and then leaves again.
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Bullet train firm reveals preferred Dallas-Houston route
The Texas Tribune
A private company's plan to build a high-speed rail line connecting Dallas and Houston came further into focus as the company announced its preferred route for the multibillion-dollar project. Texas Central Railway said it has informed the Federal Railroad Administration that it prefers to build tracks dedicated to the project along land reserved for high-voltage electric transmission lines, a route that the company had dubbed the "Utility Corridor."
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Austin builders, designers win awards at NAHB convention
Austin Business Journal
An Austin custom home not far from Zilker Park was selected as one of the best in the U.S. at the recent National Association of Home Builders annual convention in Las Vegas. A Parallel Architecture of Austin and David Wilkes Builders of West Lake Hills won the gold award at the Best in American Living awards for a one-of-a-kind custom or spec house up to 4,000 square feet.
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Austin Blacks, Hispanics face steep challenges in quest to buy a home
Austin Business Journal
Minority consumers are twice as likely to be rejected for a conventional home loan in Austin compared to white home buyers, according to a study by real estate research firm Zillow Inc. The rejection rate also is significantly higher for minorities applying for FHA federally-insured home loans.
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Mayors to lawmakers: Don't mess with taxes
Houston Chronicle
The mayors of Texas' largest cities on Monday pushed back against an initiative by state lawmakers to place new revenue caps on local communities as a way to answer conservatives' demands to cut property taxes. As the city CEOs who represent a third of Texas' population threw their clout behind blocking the new caps, saying it would hurt their ability to provide basic services, they also said they will oppose attempts by the Legislature to limit local control by overturning ordinances on fracking, plastic bags and tree-trimming.
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5 cities poised to be the next Silicon Valley tech hub
Forbes
As witnessed in Silicon Valley over the last two decades, Tech industry growth impacts housing values and creates a profitable environment for real estate investment. But while Silicon Valley remains the premier Tech center in this country, California's real estate scene is over saturated.
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Kindred spirits: Wal-Mart, Kroger align in booze bid
The Texas Tribune
One week after Wal-Mart sued the state for the right to sell hard liquor, two Texas lawmakers and a new coalition of businesses are taking the same fight to the Capitol. Wal-Mart, Kroger and the Texas Association of Business helped birth a new nonprofit group calling itself Texans for Consumer Freedom to push for laws allowing publicly traded corporations like Wal-Mart and Kroger to own and operate liquor stores. Public companies are barred from the Texas booze market by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission — an arbitrary exclusion from the free market, group members say.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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