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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources June. 16, 2011

OSHA announces three-month enforcement phase-in for residential construction fall protection
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OSHA has announced a three-month enforcement phase-in period to allow residential construction employers to come into compliance with the agency's new directive to provide residential construction workers with fall protection. During the phase-in period from June 16-Sept. 15, if an employer is in full compliance with the old directive, OSHA will not issue citations, but will instead issue a hazard alert letter informing the employer of the feasible methods that can be used to comply with OSHA's fall protection standard or implement a written fall protection plan. More

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2011 Star Awards early bird deadline tomorrow
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The Texas Association of Builders wants to recognize your outstanding work. Submit an entry to the 2011 Star Awards using our online submission process and turn your great work into "Award" winning work. The highly-coveted Star Awards are given annually to recognize excellence in all areas of the home building industry. Visit the Texas Association of Builders website and submit your award winning entries today to ensure you meet the early bird deadline of June 17. More

Claims for unemployment benefits drop; housing starts rise
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, though applications remain above levels consistent with a healthy economy. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of new people signing up for unemployment benefits fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, the second drop in three weeks. Another report showed that builders broke ground on more homes in May, but most of the gains were in the volatile apartment sector. More

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House OKs windstorm bill, but difference with Senate still unresolved
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas House gave approval to its version of a windstorm insurance bill that seeks to rein in damages that could be collected in a lawsuit. The passage of House Bill 3 by Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, is the first major step in the special session for legislation affecting the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, which has been marred in recent years by accusations of mismanagement that has led to millions of dollars being paid in settled lawsuits. More

Lucio asks Perry to add checkpoints to agenda
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, asked Perry to include the establishment of southbound checkpoints to the list of items lawmakers are currently debating. He also filed Senate Bill 43, which would grant the Texas Department of Public Safety the authority to establish checkpoints 250 yards away from an international port of entry to search for illicit weapons and cash headed into Mexico. More

2011 Star Awards
now accepting submissions.
Early Bird Deadline TOMORROW!

Democratic senators say they will support bill if Howard's rainy-day amendment stays
Austin American-Statesman Postcards Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
All 12 Democrats in the Texas Senate have signed a letter saying they will support Senate Bill 2, a key state budget bill, if the final version of that legislation includes a provision to use money from the rainy day fund to pay for enrollment growth in public education. Specifically, the Democratic senators want to keep an amendment attached in the House by Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin. More

Worst drought in more than a century strikes Texas oil boom
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The worst Texas drought since record-keeping began 116 years ago may crimp an oil and natural gas drilling boom as government officials ration water supplies crucial to energy exploration. In the hardest hit areas, water management districts are warning residents and businesses to curtail usage from rivers, lakes and aquifers. The shortage is forcing oil companies to go farther afield to buy water from farmers, irrigation districts and municipalities, said Erasmo Yarrito Jr., the state's overseer of water supplies from the Rio Grande River. More

Texas law tougher on cheating employers
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A revised state law, recently signed by Gov. Rick Perry, is aimed at cracking down on employers who don't pay their employees. The Wage Theft Bill, sponsored by state Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, and state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, revised the theft-of-services law to make it easier for police to arrest and prosecutors to charge employers who cheat workers out of their pay, according to the Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project, an El Paso legal defense organization that helped draft the bill. More
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