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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources April 19, 2011

Texas lawmakers find $3 billion to pad the budget
Houston Chronicle    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas House budget writers voted Monday to free up an additional $3 billion for key state services through such moves as speeding up tax collections, delaying payments and suspending the back-to-school sales tax holiday. The bills next go to the full House, which Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, predicted could be willing to add $4 billion to $5 billion to a bare-bones spending plan it passed earlier this month. More

Obituary: Influential Texas builder James Box    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
James Clarke Box, 80, of Houston, passed away early Thursday morning. Everyone who knew him knew Jim was a family man who was the rock of his family. He is also well known for his tireless work in the development and home building industry. More

New-home construction increases 7.2 percent in March
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Builders broke ground on more new homes last month, giving the weak housing market a slight boost at the start of the spring buying season. Home construction rose 7.2 percent in March from February to a seasonally adjusted 549,000 units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 11.2 percent after hitting a five-decade low in February. More

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State consumer offices under fire
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
t's a tough time to be a state-paid advocate for consumers in Texas right now. This legislative session, three state offices that help average Texans in disputes involving corporate giants have been targeted for closure or reduced roles: The Office of Public Insurance Counsel, the Office of Public Utility Counsel and the Office of the Public Interest Counsel at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. More

Texas wildfire grows amid hot, windy weather
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Texas wildfire burning about 70 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth area is more than twice as big as previous estimates, and firefighters will face difficult conditions Tuesday battling the blaze, officials said. The fire at Possum Kingdom Lake about 70 miles west of Fort Worth has grown to nearly 150,000 acres from estimates a day earlier of about 63,000 acres, according to the Texas Forest Service. More

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Senate passes TxDOT sunset, with environmental review process streamlined
The Lone Star Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Senate has passed the Texas Department of Transportation sunset bill, which required TxDOT to take steps to be more transparent in its road construction contracting process and granted more flexibility to pursue those projects. In the process, Ogden attached to the bill an amendment on a 22-6 vote which the Senate had previously passed, to streamline the environmental review process. More

Austin officials speak out against expected congressional map
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and other elected officials stood with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett on Monday to speak out against what Doggett anticipates are Republican plans to further divide Travis County through congressional redistricting. State lawmakers are scheduled to draw new districts before their regular legislative session ends in six weeks. Republicans in the state's congressional delegation have submitted their suggested redistricting plan to state officials, but that proposal has not been publicly revealed. In fact, state lawmakers have not yet unveiled any proposed map for congressional redistricting. More

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TX Supreme Court hears arguments on open beaches
The Associated Press via Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments on key provisions of the Open Beaches Act. Texas has long considered beaches to be public property up to the vegetation line, but a Supreme Court ruling put that in doubt. In November, the court cited early Texas history and ruled that Galveston Island's West Beach could be considered private property. More

Public comment period set on pipeline
Daily Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plenty of energy is being generated by the controversy over Keystone XL pipeline, but nobody's found a way to harness it for fuel. As public passion continues to escalate, the U. S. State Department has issued a supplemental but still preliminary environmental impact statement, which echoed an earlier draft they released, that characterized the $ 7 billion TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline project posing only a "limited" threat to the environment during construction and operation. More

2011 Star Awards
now accepting submissions.
Texas Housing Hall of Honor
now accepting submissions.

Foreclosure probe talks said to yield some agreements with banks
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Attorneys general negotiating a settlement of a 50-state investigation of foreclosure practices have reached agreements with lenders on some terms while failing so far to reach an accord on potential monetary payments by the banks, said a person familiar with the talks. More

House passes eminent domain bill
Austin Business Journal    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The House tentatively passed legislation Wednesday that would further limit government entities' ability to seize private property — one of Governor Perry's emergency initiatives for the current legislative session. The bill, Senate Bill 18, seeks to further strengthen a property owner's right to defend against eminent domain from government agencies and private entities. Both the United States and Texas constitutions prohibit taking private property without just compensation. More
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