Lege Lines: With only transportation left on the special session agenda, the 2014 race begins
Road Money Off The Rails
With two of the three measures on the special session call – abortions and juvenile sentencing – passed, lawmakers are headed to a showdown over the third: road funds. The Republican leadership's original plan was to pass Senate Joint Resolution 1, diverting some cash that normally goes into the Rainy Day Fund into the State Highway Fund. However, the House i ...
Grants to help farms, ranches build resilience to drought
WASHINGTON ??" On Friday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the award of $5.3 million in Conservation Innovation Grants to develop approaches and technology that will help producers adapt to extreme climate changes that cause drought.
These grants will fund projects benefiting several states that were significantly impacted by last year??(tm)s drought.
The United States Department of ...
Texas Legislature passes key budget measures
AUSTIN -- On Wednesday, both chambers approved measures critical to the budget deal worked out last week. These pieces are the means for increasing funding for education and funding the state water plan and their passage moves the state closer to a final budget for the next two years. The Senate's chief budget negotiator, Finance Chairman Tommy Williams of the Woodlands, told colleagues that these ...
Dewhurst wants special session on failed GOP bills
With legislative adjournment looming on Monday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he wants Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session to seek passage of failed legislation insisted upon by conservative Republicans.
In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/13O2C2N), the Republican Dewhurst said he wants to revive legislation that would require drug tests for we ...
Federal Funds For Roads Bypass Oil and Gas Counties 5/23/13
CBS 7 News
May 23, 2013
MIDLAND/ODESSA-County Judge Mike Bradford says a new House Bill slated to give more than $55 million to oil and gas counties was amended to exclude that funding. That bill was House Bill 1025.
Bradford says that funding will go to the state TXDOT program instead.
"The good news is that Midland county has already committed $3 million this year ab ...
Forest Service to states: Give subsidies back
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service is in the business of preventing fires, not starting them.
Yet the agency set off alarms in Congress and state capitols across the West by citing the automatic spending cuts as the basis for demanding that dozens of states return $17.9 million in federal subsidies. And it's all come down to a bureaucratic squabble over whether the money is subject ...
Bastrop receives $1.6M check for fire recovery
With a symbolic poster board check Governor Rick Perry Tuesday morning poured in some much needed funding for the Bastrop fire recovery effort.
"This is a check for a $1,612,000" Perry said.
The fire in late September of 2011 claimed two lives and destroyed about 1,700 homes is considered to be the most destructive wild fire in Texas history.
The $1,612,500 comes from the state disaster fund a ...
President's budget proposal contains various clean energy efforts
While the wind industry may be gaining energy market share across the nation, and especially in Texas, it's not the most reliable source, and President Obama's budget proposal aims to change that.
The president's newly released contains various proposals intended to make the U.S. the leader in clean energy technology. Perhaps the most important aspect, however, is a proposal for a permanent and r ...
Guest Column: Use the Rainy Day Fund for Education
When I meet people in my district, one of the first questions I'll ask someone is where they went to school. They don't answer, Texas, U of H or TSU, though they might have gone there. They proudly answer me with their high school — Jack Yates, Worthing, Jones, Westbury — or for some of my older constituents, Wheatley. In other parts of the state, Texans take pride in telling people th ...
House Panel Debates Medicaid Expansion Proposal
Despite Gov. Rick Perry remaining strongly opposed to expanding Medicaid, a House panel on Tuesday considered legislation that would expand coverage to poor adults under the Affordable Care Act.
This is not Medicaid expansion; this is Texas Plus or Medicaid Plus One,” said state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, who laid out his House Bill 3376 at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on bu ...
Perry pushes $1.6 billion business tax cut
AUSTIN - Weeks after the Texas House and Senate voted out budgets for the next two years, Gov. Rick Perry proposed a $1.6 billion cut in the state business tax Monday, following up on his January call for tax relief with just six weeks to go in the legislative session.
Business groups and the limited-government Texas Public Policy Foundation praised the idea, but Democrats dismissed it as polit ...
Goliad native appointed to Stamping Office board
Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman appointed Jennifer Hoff Hall to the Board of Directors of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas.
A native of Goliad County, Hall is currently the Deputy Director of Risk Management Services at the Texas Association of Counties. The Stamping Office is a non-profit unincorporated organization created by the legislature in 1987. It ...
BOSTON: Running for Iris
By LIBBY CLUETT
Felicia Scott is carrying the figurative "torch" for her mother, Iris Stagner, and it's keeping her busy.
Just days before Stagner was killed west of town by the driver of a truck, while she was riding her bike one September evening, she was accepted to run in the 117 Boston Marathon.
Scott, who has never ran a marathon, said she started thinking “ ...
Gov. Perry, Sen. Cornyn, Sen. Cruz: Texas stands firm against Medicaid expansion
Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz held a roundtable followed by a news conference to discuss the flexibility needed by states to enact meaningful reforms to the existing, broken Medicaid program.
They were joined by Congressmen Joe Barton and Michael C. Burgess, M.D., Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, Texas Health and Human Services Commissio ...
TxDOT Intends to Fund Air Traffic Control Services in Texas to Ensure Continued Safety of Air Passengers
Federal sequestration eliminates funding of municipal airport air traffic controllers
In an effort to ensure safety at 13 municipal airports in Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation today said it intends to fund continued service of air traffic controllers when federal funding goes away as a result of sequestration, or budget cuts. This action is pending Texas Transportation ...
Commissioners weigh options for Justice Center
SEGUIN ? Guadalupe County commissioners will hold a workshop meeting to discuss options for financing construction projects at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the commissioners courtroom at the Justice Center.
The workshop was suggested by County Judge Larry Jones after a presentation by Duane Westerman of Samco Capital Markets Inc. during the commissioners court meeting on March 26.
Agenda Texas: Medicaid Expansion and the Week Ahead
Its another busy week ahead for theTexas Legislature. With just eight weeks left in the session, theres still lots to do. So to help us sort out the big items to watch for during the week, we talked with Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.
"Well, the Senate is going to look atCPRIT. There's some education legislation wandering around that could come up for consideration in the Senate. A ...
Texas Legislature And Budget Plan
The Texas Legislature is working hard on the state's next two year budget.
Lawmakers slashed spending in 2011, but the state is expected to raise more than $100 billion over the next 2 years.
This week the Texas House of Representatives is expected to pass a new 2 year budget, totaling over $93 billion dollars.
This is a 15% jump higher than the budget two years ago.
The extra dolla ...
Hot List: Day 77 of the Legislature
The Senate passed its version of the budget last week, and soon itll be the Houses turn. The House Appropriations Committee voted out its version of the two-year state budget late last week, but not before allotting $1 billion more to public education than the Senate-approved budget. That means the House version would add a total of $2.5 billion to public school bu ...
Mackowiak: Without reform, Medicaid expansion will bankrupt Texas
By Matt Mackowiak
What?s the catch?
Whenever something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Our country, since the FDR era, has believed in entitlements as an earned benefit that serves as a safety net for all Americans. Unfortunately, those programs, created in the 1940s and only modest ...
Texas Historical Commission charges ahead with a new vision
Two years ago, the Texas Historical Commission was looking a bit like the Alamo ? besieged by a Legislature looking to save money and under fire from critics, including Gov. Rick Perry, who questioned whether it should continue to exist as the state?s primary agency for all things historic.
Now, like Sam Houston after the Battle of San Jacin ...
How budget cuts could affect you
By The Associated Press
Government agencies are already taking steps to comply with automatic spending cuts that took effect March 1. Some examples:
One of the Navy's premiere warships, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, sits pierside in Norfolk, Va., its tour of duty delayed. The carrier and its 5,000-person crew were to l ...
Senate plan adds $5 billion to budget
Budget writers in the Texas Senate are adding $5 billion in proposed spending that throws more money at everything from education to mental health.
The Se ...
Senate committee unanimously passes state budget bill
In a unanimous vote, the Texas? Senate Finance Committee passed its budget recommendations forward Wednesday.
The $94.1 billion bill emphasizes funding for mental health and education. It?s now ready to go before the full Senate for a vote.
?I'm very excited. I think it addresses a lot of our priorities in the state," Republican Sen. Tommy Williams, chairman of the committee, said. "There's ove ...
Perry asks Texas delegation to fight for flexibility on Medicaid
In advance of a Washington speech? expected to touch on health care reform, Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to the Texas congressional delegation Thursday reiterating his opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act and its expansion of Medicaid, but urging Texas members of Congress to support the Medicaid reforms outlined in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s recent budget proposal.
While continuing hi ...
Gov't acknowledges thousands released from jails
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
WASHINGTON (AP) - After weeks of denials, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday that it had, in fact, released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants from immigration jails due to budget concerns during three weeks in February. Four of the most serious offenders have been put back in detention.
The administration h ...
Bill would tap Rainy Day Fund to repair local roads beat up by oil and gas traffic
DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler held up a picture of rugged roadsto show a panel of lawmakers Monday.
The explosion of oil and gas activity in his South Texas county has torn up routes not built for the heavy traffic of rigs and equipment.
?There are significant potholes, creating very strong safety hazards for our EMS and our school buses,? Fowler told members of the House subcommittee on ...
Senate panel OKs budget bill
By Kate Alexander
Senate budget-writers approved a 2014-15 state budget Wednesday that would make a down payment toward undoing some the deep budget cuts made two years ago.
Senate Bill 1 cleared the Senate Finance Committee with a unanimous vote and is expected to be on the Senate floor next Wednesday.
Local state senator's bills focus on health care
Charles Schwertner, who represents Bryan and College Station in the state Senate, has his sights set on the health care industry in the ongoing legislative session.
Nearly half of the bills authored this session by the freshman Republican from Georgetown relate to medical care.
Schwertner, an orthopedic surgeon by trade, authored 27 bills, 28 resolutions and was an additional primary author on ...
Straus names House committees for 83rd Legislature by Karen Brooks Harper?Capitol Correspondent February 1, 2013 ContentMore News Clips
Lawmakers have been filing bills since late last year, but no public hearings or floor debates in the House could begin until the committees were formed.?
The committee assignments are the most anticipated moment of the legislative session, as lawmakers wait to see which legislation they'll be influencing for the rest of the session.?
"These committees will shape the success of our state ...