Jul 26th 2017 | Posted in Federal by Kristin Gordon

In 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) reached a record-high of $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance, which NPS defines as “maintenance that was not performed at the required intervals to ensure an acceptable facility condition to support the expected life cycle of an asset.” Around $5.97 billion of the deferred maintenance is for paved roads and […]

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Jun 30th 2017 | Posted in Federal by Kristin Gordon

This week Senate lawmakers called for total defense spending in fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1, of $700 billion. A total of $696.5 billion was proposed by the House committee Monday, which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee Thursday. The Senate committee’s summary of the bill stated that it backed a $640 billion base budget for the Defense Department and the national security programs […]

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Jun 28th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy, Transportation by Kristin Gordon

Two bills that were introduced June 21 and 22 provide very different outcomes for the future of aviation in the United States. Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Bill Shuster, introduced a six-year draft House bill called the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act (AIRR Act), a revised version from […]

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Jun 15th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday vetoed 50 bills passed by the 85th session of the Texas Legislature.  Abbott has until Sunday at midnight to veto any bills passed by the House and Senate during the regular session that ended May 29. The governor has called a special session of the Legislature to convene July 18 to […]

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Jun 2nd 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon
Photo of Gov. Abbott signing bills from the 85th Legislative Session

Gov. Greg Abbott continues to sign bills into law and had reached 448 bills by this morning. Some of the bills from the 85th Legislative Session that have been signed by Abbott include several that will reform the Texas foster care system. Senate Bill 11 will  expand “community-based foster care” to two areas in the state over the next two […]

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May 26th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

The discovery of oil in Texas dates back much further, but the first economically significant discovery came in 1894 in Navarro County near Corsicana. According to the Texas State Historical Association, the Corsicana oilfield developed gradually and peaked in 1900, when it produced more than 839,000 barrels of oil. The first relatively modern refinery in […]

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May 24th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Ron Kim

Delaware– Gov. John Carney of Delaware recently announced a plan to create the Delaware Prosperity Partnership – a jointly funded public-private entity that will be in charge of state business marketing efforts to attract businesses. The entity will focus on both early-stage technology-based ventures as well as established large employers. The partnership would also support […]

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Apr 7th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon
Photo by IUCNweb is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A report released in February by the Environment America Research & Policy Center covered policies in 15 states and graded them on how well they protect children from lead contamination of drinking water at schools. Texas, along with 11 other states, received an “F.”  But, the passing of one or more bills during the 85th […]

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Mar 31st 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

On March 26, Sen. Judith Zaffirini provided an impactful opening before sharing why Senate Bill 42 should become law. The bill, known as the “Judge Julie Kocurek Judicial and Courthouse Security Act of 2017,” was heard during testimonies in front of the Senate Committee on State Affairs. Zafferini shared that following the attempted assassination of […]

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Mar 24th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

Managing money in our day-to-day lives is quite a balancing act. The key is not to spend more than you have, make stable investments and accrue funds for a nest egg that will serve you well in case of an emergency or during your retirement years. This would be the best-case scenario for everyone, but […]

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Feb 3rd 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his State of the State address this week at the Texas Capitol. He urged lawmakers to get to work immediately on four issues he named as emergency items. During his address, Abbott shared that over 100 children died last year in the child protective system and that Child Protective Services (CPS) […]

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Jan 20th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

As the 85th Legislative Session wraps up its second week of discussions over bills from the House and Senate, state agencies anxiously await decisions that could affect their strategic plans and budget requests. Waiting on those decisions became even more of a nail-bitter for all Texans after Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that lawmakers could appropriate […]

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Jan 13th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

The day before the 85th Texas Legislative Session convened for 140 days of deliberating over multiple bills, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar released the state’s Biennial Revenue Estimate on Monday with a projection of $104.9 billion. The revenue for the 2018-19 biennium is 2.7 percent less than the general-purpose spending that was available in the 2016-17 […]

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Jan 6th 2017 | Posted in State by J Lyn Carl

Thousands of bills go through each session of the Texas Legislature. Some are subject to interpretation. Unfortunately, some are also subject to misinterpretation. Part of Senate Bill 20 from the 84th Texas Legislature falls on the side of misinterpretation. The objective of the legislation, as outlined in the statement of intent in the bill analysis […]

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Dec 9th 2016 | Posted in State by Priscilla Loebenberg

Texas Association of Business (TAB) members warned lawmakers of severe losses to the state’s economy if legislation discriminatory to LGBT individuals is moved forward. Business leaders presented a report that estimated the impact from such legislation. The state could lose between $964 million and $8.5 billion and up to 185,000 jobs, according to the association […]

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Oct 14th 2016 | Posted in State by Priscilla Loebenberg
Image from the 2016 Biennial Legislative Communications Conference

A number of elected officials, along with others in the executive ranks of government in Texas, were among numerous presenters at the 2016 Biennial Legislative Communication Conference. The pre-legislative session event was sponsored by Strategic Partnerships, Inc and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar kicked off the day-long event and discussed […]

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Sep 30th 2016 | Posted in Legislation/Policy, Mary Scott Nabers' Insights by Mary Scott Nabers

Local and state government entities could be headed toward a $1.5 trillion financial catastrophe. Public-sector pension programs are hemorrhaging and experts see no relief in sight. In 2014, the funding gap between promised benefits and funding to pay for the benefits topped $934 billion. The Pew Charitable Trusts, in a recent study, reported that gap […]

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Aug 26th 2016 | Posted in State by Priscilla Loebenberg
Image illustrating the concept of transparency in government
Image Credits: Free Press

Citizens and taxpayers have a right to know how public money is spent — at least that has always been the basic understanding which was codified in the Texas Public Information Act in 1973. “The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people […]

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Jun 17th 2016 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Peter Partheymuller
Logo for the Dallas CityMAP plan

The improvements come in a variety of forms. There are reduced travel times or the increased ease of commutes that come with some options. For others, such as the removal of I-345, the improvements would come in the form of the value created by opening up land for development in the central core of Dallas. That new value could be as much as $2.5 billion.

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Jun 8th 2016 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Peter Partheymuller

Almost a quarter of respondents reported that there has been no discussion of the Internet of Things at all, while just more than half of the CIOs said their agencies are still in the informal discussions stage. Only 6 percent of the respondents have included the topic of the IoT in their state strategic plans.

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Jun 8th 2016 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Peter Partheymuller

The bill would require every federal agency to report to the board all federal civilian property with data containing age, square footage, operating costs and condition. The information would be used to create a database of all property owned by the federal government. Such a resource does not currently exist.

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Jun 1st 2016 | Posted in State by Peter Partheymuller

State governments across the United States are doing a lot to ensure their residents are able to access the latest technology. The most recent moves toward that goal in Virginia address both the infrastructure that will bring broadband Internet service to the entire state and create a database of broadband’s reach.

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