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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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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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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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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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 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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May 18th 2016 | Posted in State by Peter Partheymuller
Logo for the FDOT ROADS project

ROADS project leaders conducted surveys and interviews with FDOT staff members to discover what data they use, how they use it and how that can be improved. They realized that the department relied too heavily on obtaining data from individuals who had developed tricks to store and utilize various pieces of data rather than applications or tools.

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Mar 4th 2016 | Posted in State by Peter Partheymuller
Photo of the future Palo Pinto Mountains State Park provide by Texas Parks and Wildlife.

With appropriations in hand, stage is set for major TPWD construction projects For the 2012-2013 two-year state budget period, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was allocated $23 million for state park capital repairs. For the next biennium, the department’s capital repairs budget had shrunk to $11 million. For the current budget, the TPWD […]

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Dec 2nd 2015 | Posted in State by Peter Partheymuller
Image of the logo for the Oregon PUC, which will spend 2016 determining energy storage procedures for electric companies

Energy storage mandate to serve as pilot for other states In June, the Oregon state legislature passed a law requiring the state’s two largest electricity providers to have a minimum of 5 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy storage in service by Jan. 1, 2020. The law is significant, industry leaders say, because it will provide […]

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Nov 20th 2015 | Posted in State by Peter Partheymuller
Image of the Texas scorecard on government transparency and other categories related to deterring government corruption

State ranks near bottom in access to information, ethics disclosure The Center for Public Integrity, a national government watchdog, last week released a report ranking the 50 states on transparency, accountability and ethics. Texas did not fare well, ranking 38th overall with a grade of D- and 48th in terms of the public’s access to information. That kind of national ranking does […]

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Apr 8th 2015 | Posted in State by Government Contracting Pipeline
Photo by Carol Norquist is licensed under CC BY 2.0

An 11th-hour vote by the Georgia General Assembly last week cleared the way for state agencies and local governments to seek private-sector partners as a new funding source for much-needed projects. The General Assembly passed a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) bill (SB 59)that allows public entities in the state to seek private financing and construction of public […]

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Feb 27th 2015 | Posted in State by Texas Government Insider
Photo by Mike McCune is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You’re driving at a snail’s pace, bumper-to-bumper to and from work on just about any route into downtown Austin five days a week. It’s a match made in – well, certainly not Heaven – for fostering road rage among impatient drivers. Now, close your eyes while you’re at a complete standstill stuck in that traffic […]

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Jan 16th 2015 | Posted in Infrastructure, News, State, Transportation by Texas Government Insider
Photo by Ed Schipul is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Too early to tell.” That’s the consensus of county officials throughout the state regarding the impact that plummeting oil prices will have on their budgets, says Lonnie Hunt, county relations officer for the Texas Association of Counties. Because counties are in the middle of their current budget cycles, the effects of declining oil prices won’t […]

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Jan 16th 2015 | Posted in Infrastructure, Legislation/Policy, Mary Scott Nabers' Insights, State, Transportation, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
Photo by Chris (LA Wad) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Texans may be somewhat calmed by the knowledge that transportation infrastructure problems are nationwide. No state is exempt. Citizens won’t, however, be happy to know that transportation-related costs are destined to increase in Texas and in every other state in the near future. The nation’s transportation infrastructure needs have become too critical to ignore any […]

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Jan 16th 2015 | Posted in Infrastructure, News, P3/PPP, State, Transportation, Water by Texas Government Insider
Photo by Kevin Dooley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Infrastructure has long been at the heart of economic growth. It also creates jobs and allows this country to compete globally. Toward improving and expanding infrastructure and thus expanding opportunity for Americans while bolstering the economy, President Barack Obama today, Friday, announced new steps as a follow-up to his 2014 Build America Investment Initiative. That […]

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Jan 15th 2015 | Posted in State, Transportation by Government Contracting Pipeline
Photo by Matthew Hester is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Does not rule out tolls; Speaker Sharkey calls them ‘inevitable’ Saying, “We need a new approach,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy laid out his goals for a transportation overhaul in the state in his recent State of the State address. “We know that transportation and economic growth are bound together,” said Malloy. “States that make […]

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Jan 12th 2015 | Posted in Legislation/Policy, News, State by J Lyn Carl
Photo by 401kCalculator.org is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When Texas lawmakers gather this week for the 84th session of the Texas Legislature, they will know how much is in the state’s wallet to spend on the 2016-17 biennial budget. Or at least they’ll have a good idea. Newly elected Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar today announced the 2016-17 revenue estimate at $113 billion. […]

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Jan 9th 2015 | Posted in Legislation/Policy, State by Texas Government Insider

For 140 days beginning next Tuesday, Texas lawmakers will face a legislative agenda that looks pretty much like agendas for the last several sessions of the Texas Legislature – transportation, education, taxes, trimming state government. If that alone is not a daunting enough task, the 84th session of the Texas Legislature will feature a new […]

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Jan 7th 2015 | Posted in State, Transportation, Trends by Dawn Doyle
Photo by NC3D is licensed under CC BY 2.0

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, in Fresno, California’s high-speed rail project became the nation’s first project to break ground. Within seven years, the Fresno to the Burbank airport segment should be operational. Within 14 years, the system will be built out more than 500 miles in two directions, linking downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles. Ultimately, it will stretch from Sacramento to San Diego at 200 mph.

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Jan 5th 2015 | Posted in State, Technology by AJ Bingham

Preparing for 2015, I represented Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) at the Texas Association of State Systems for Computing and Communications (TASSCC) annual State of the State annual conference held in December 2014. The event featured an assorted crowd of Texas state agency and higher education representatives, as well as the vendors that serve them. The […]

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