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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources April 12, 2011

Judge affirms $350 million State Farm refund order
The Associated Press via San Antonio Express-News    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A state judge in Austin ruled Monday that State Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin was within his authority when he ordered State Farm Insurance to refund about $350 million to ratepayers for excessive premiums charged as early as 2003. State District Judge Tim Sulak ruled after hearing two hours of arguments from attorneys for the state insurance department, the Office of Public Insurance Counsel and State Farm. More

Housing still can't find a date for economic recovery dance
McClatchy Newspapers via Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many sectors of the U.S. economy are showing heartening signs of growth: Employment, international trade, manufacturing and professional services among them. Then there's the miserable housing sector. It's still missing from the list of positives, still a net drag on the U.S. economic recovery. Where's the bottom? Four years into the housing crisis, specialists still aren't sure if we're on our way up or still have further to drop. More

Green home building continues to flourish; passes 10,000 LEED-certified home milestone
U.S. Green Building Council    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 10,000 homes across the U.S. have earned LEED certification through the LEED for Homes program, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED-certified home projects span the residential market, from multi- and single-family, to market rate and affordable housing. "Reaching this milestone signifies the continued transformation of the home building industry towards high-performing, healthy homes that save home owners money," said Nate Kredich, the council's Vice President of Residential Market Development. More

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Panel looking at revenue options meets today
Austin American-Statesman First Reading Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters is scheduled to meet today, either at 1 p.m. or 30 minutes after adjournment of the full Finance Committee. The group is expected to discuss some, but not all, of the ways the Senate may produce so-called non-tax revenue in order to help it spend billions more in its budget than the House — without raising taxes. Today's will be the group's first official meeting since it was initially formed several weeks ago. More

Senate list of $5.5 billion in revenue proposals leaked
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas senators scratching for new state revenue canceled a meeting to talk about their options today, but a copy of their list got loose — and it includes $5.5 billion in taxes, fees, asset sales and accounting tricks that could be used to ease their budget problems. If, that is, the proposed cures are more politically palatable than the budget cuts. The list was obtained by Empower Texans, a group that advocates for fiscal conservatism, and posted on its website. More

Texas lawmakers eye repeal of natural gas tax break
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The state of Texas generates a fortune from taxes on mining for oil, gas and minerals. But as Ryland Barton of KUT News and reports, the natural gas industry enjoys a special incentive that some legislators want to scrap. More

Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) protects you.
Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) has provided warranties to Texas builders for over 10 years. Now we offer A rated Contractors General Liability and Builders Risk insurance through our sister company, Bonded Builders Insurance Services (BBIS). This Protection Plus program is available from local Texas insurance agents. For information on our warranty and insurance programs, contact David Broyles, Vice President, BBIS, 877 219-9519, ext.4368 more

Gov. Perry to view damage from Texas wildfires
The Associated Press via Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry plans to view the devastation from wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres in Texas and left one firefighter critically hurt. Perry is expected to head to Merkel, about 160 miles west of Fort Worth, on Tuesday. Texas Forest Service spokesman Alan Craft says the biggest fires still burning have blackened about 80,000 acres in Presidio County, 25,000 acres in Brewster County and nearly 17,000 acres in Midland County. More

Impacts of Trans Mountain Road plan criticized
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Texas plan to widen the western reach of Trans Mountain Road will create a "biological dead-zone," says the man who until recently ran New Mexico's state park system. "With such an irreplaceable and fragile asset as the Franklin Mountains State Park, it's really incumbent on (the Texas Department of Transportation) to do a thorough analysis and mitigate the impacts," said David Simon, New Mexico state parks director from 2003 to 2010. "As a road project, it doesn't pass the test of a project that has been evaluated properly." More

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Senators looking at more debt for roads
San Antonio Express-News Texas Politics Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, is proposing that lawmakers authorize billions more in debt for transportation needs, saying a more permanent fix doesn't appear to be in the cards this legislative session. Williams told the Senate Finance Committee, on which he serves, that he'd like lawmakers working on the next two-year budget to authorize another $3 billion in debt through Proposition 12 bonds. More

3.5 million Texans' data compromised online
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Personal and confidential data from 3.5 million Texans getting unemployment checks, teachers, state workers and retirees were left unprotected on the Internet for about a year, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced Monday. There is no indication that the personal information — Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth and more — was misused when it was parked on a publicly accessible server. More

Koch plans expanded crude pipeline in Texas
The Associated Press via Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Kansas-based energy company plans to expand its pipeline operations in South Texas. Koch Pipeline Company LP plans to build a crude oil line from Pettus to Corpus Christi. The company on Monday announced the 20-inch line is in the permitting and right-of-way acquisition phase. The 75 miles of pipeline should be complete in mid-2012. More
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