Dec 8th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast Aug. 25. We are now in December and there is still a lot of future-proofing to be done. Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, spoke of future-proofing Texas after he was chosen to oversee Texas’ hurricane rebuilding efforts.   Future-proofing is the process of anticipating the future and developing methods of minimizing […]

Read More
Nov 10th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

Texas voters made their voices heard by choosing for or against bond propositions put forth by cities, counties, school districts, special districts, a community college and hospital district. In total, 83 local government entities made the decision to call for a bond election to see if the majority of voters agreed with the propositions, such as one city that had five.    […]

Read More
Nov 8th 2017 | Posted in Federal by Kristin Gordon

This is the time of year when bond proposals are voted on by residents so cities and towns can take on improvement projects. But new laws might be enacted in 2018 that could take some of the attraction away from bonds. Last week, a draft, called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, released by the House Ways and Means Committee, comes with provisions that, […]

Read More
Nov 3rd 2017 | Posted in State by J Lyn Carl

“This is not a closed book – this is a work in progress.” That is Gov. Greg Abbott’s take regarding ongoing state efforts to secure billions of additional federal dollars to help address damages and destruction left behind when Hurricane Harvey swept over parts of Texas in August. At a press conference Wednesday, Abbott spoke […]

Read More
Oct 27th 2017 | Posted in State by admin

The presiding officers of both the House and the Senate have released interim charges to committees on which issues to examine during the interim between the 85th Legislature and the next session in 2019.  In Texas’s biennial legislature, a legislative session occurs in odd-numbered years beginning the second Tuesday in January, and running for 140 […]

Read More
Oct 13th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

When a natural disaster occurs, state, county and city leaders must assess the damage and also do a head count of residents that may have lost food, water and shelter. Operations, plans and projects are put into place and state agencies begin requesting waivers and assistance at the federal level. For Texans, that natural disaster is Hurricane Harvey.   The […]

Read More
Oct 6th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

Texas lawmakers have requested an additional $18.7 billion in federal aid to assist with recovery efforts from the damage left behind when Hurricane Harvey made landfall. On Thursday, Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, along with other members of Congress and Gov. Greg Abbott, delivered the request in a letter to House and Senate appropriators. […]

Read More
Sep 27th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

There are many different kinds, or classes, of government units with an annual budget, including counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, fire districts, hospital districts and other special districts. All of them have deadlines for their balanced, fiscal year budget that will outline revenue and spending categories and totals for the various funds. A budget contains several important parts, and […]

Read More
Sep 1st 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

The last day of the 85th Legislative Session was May 29. Several bills immediately went into effect while others were delayed until Sept. 1, or even further into the future. Over 670 bills become new Texas laws today. Get the full analysis of bills that became law on Sept. 1 here, bills signed by the governor here and bills […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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) […]

Read More