Blanco County News
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 • Posted February 13, 2015
Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) is hoping the Texas Legislature will take aim at revitalizing the state’s aging infrastructure during the session, but not before the biannual budget is complete. “In every session, your primary accomplishment has to be passing a budget,” Fraser said. “We always try to make sure it is a conservative budget — that we live within our means — but still takes care of the state’s needs.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 • Posted February 13, 2015
AUSTIN — Last week, the Senate Finance Committee began groundwork for its budget-writing duties with public hearings on four consecutive days. Led by Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Grapevine, the 15-member panel heard testimony from the offices of the governor, comptroller and attorney general. Input also was received on state pension funds, courts and payments on state debt.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 • Posted February 6, 2015
AUSTIN — On Jan. 28 the main work of the Texas Legislature started when the state budget-writing Senate Finance Committee met at the Capitol. Financial figures for the committee to use as a guide come from the 10-member Legislative Budget Board, a permanent joint committee of the House and Senate that develops budget and policy recommendations for appropriations, completes fiscal analyses for proposed legislation and conducts evaluations and reviews to improve the efficiency and performance ...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 • Posted January 30, 2015
AUSTIN — January 20 was inauguration day for Gov. Greg Abbott, successor to Rick Perry, who completed a record-setting 14 years as governor. Abbott is the 48th governor of Texas. Abbott expressed gratitude to the people who elected him and promised to “promote policies that limit the growth of government, not the size of your dreams.” “Texas truly is the land of opportunity, the place where anyone can achieve anything,” Abbott said.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 • Posted January 23, 2015
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry addressed a joint session of the House and Senate for the last time on Jan. 15. Before recounting various aspects of the state’s performance during his record-breaking tenure as chief executive, Perry said, “I have come here to reflect on what we have done together, and to say farewell.
, cmclure@blanconews.com
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 • Posted January 23, 2015
A growing state like Texas has many fiscal needs, but District 45 Texas State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, would like lawmakers to find a different approach than merely running up debt. “My observation has been that we recognize a problem and we find a solution that includes some sort of debt,” Isaac, who represents Blanco County in the Texas House of Representatives, said.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 • Posted January 16, 2015
AUSTIN — Signaling his intent to promote transparency and accountability in the 84th Texas Legislature, House Speaker Joe Straus on Jan. 9 announced that in the coming weeks the House would release a budget proposal designed to strengthen oversight of state agency contracts. The Legislature convenes Jan. 13. Agencies or institutions of higher education, under the proposal, would have to meet new reporting requirements prior to awarding a contract or making a purchase worth more than $10 mill ...
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 • Posted January 16, 2015
When District 45 State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, sees Blanco State Park, it immediately transforms him back to when he was first elected. “I always think about that river because it holds some of my fondest memories,” Isaac recalled, mulling a morning cup of tea. “In 2011, in the first week after I was sworn in, Blanco residents like Connie Barron were coming to me and saying, ‘hey, Blanco State Park is on this closure list.’” To hear Isaac tell the story, it is as if ...
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 • Posted January 9, 2015
AUSTIN — When the 84th Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 13 and oaths of office are administered, the political party split will be 21 Republicans to 10 Democrats in the 31-member Senate, and 98 Republicans to 52 Democrats in the 150-member House. The composition and leadership of committees, the flow of legislation through those committees and control of floor debate will be according to the wishes of new Lt.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 • Posted January 2, 2015
AUSTIN — 2014 has been a banner year for job creation in Texas, according to government assessments. Drawing on figures calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas Workforce Commission on Dec. 19 reported employers added 34,800 seasonally adjusted total non-farm jobs in November, for a total of 441,200 jobs added since last year.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014 • Posted December 31, 2014
AUSTIN — State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, on Dec. 18 requested that the special prosecution unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office “begin a formal and thorough investigation” into transactions between the State of Texas and 21CT, a software intelligence firm with offices here and in Vienna, Virginia. Information about the transactions came to light via an ongoing investigation and stories published by the Austin American-Statesman.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 • Posted December 31, 2014
AUSTIN — On Dec. 11, a Senate-House joint committee empaneled to adopt a sufficient balance for the state’s “rainy day fund” approved $7 billion as the floor for it. Properly titled the Economic Stabilization Fund, the oil and gas tax-fueled pool of money was created by constitutional amendment in 1988 when oil was selling as low as $10 a barrel, causing state coffers to run thin.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 • Posted December 31, 2014
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry on Dec. 3 ordered state agencies to check the employment eligibility of current and prospective employees by using E-Verify, an Internet-based system that allows employers to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Perry also urged Congress to pass legislation “to provide the resources necessary to secure our southern border.” Perry’s announcements come in the wake of President Obama’s executive action on immigration on Nov ...
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 • Posted December 5, 2014
AUSTIN — Police responded to reports of gunfire in the capital city’s downtown area around 2 a.m. on Nov. 28. An estimated 100 shots were fired in about 10 minutes, hitting buildings including the Mexican consulate, police headquarters and the federal court building. No pedestrians, motorists or building occupants were reported injured in the incident. An armed suspect identified as Larry Steven McQuilliams, 49, of Austin, was shot and killed when he was confronted by an Austin police of ...
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 • Posted November 28, 2014
AUSTIN — President Barack Obama on Nov. 20 announced his decision to take executive action on immigration because Congress has not acted on immigration reform to address the presence and inflow of undocumented residents. “In order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation, these undocumented parents of U.S.