Columns/Opinions

Fri
08
May

House, Senate bills show disparate visions of tax relief

By Ed Sterling
 
Legislation approved by the House and Senate last week reveal widely differing views on how to bring about tax relief to Texans in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Speaker Joe Straus lauded the preliminary approval of House Bill 31, legislation to reduce the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5.95 percent, resulting in a $2.66 billion revenue decrease, and House Bill 32, legislation cutting the franchise tax paid by many businesses by 25 percent and resulting in a statewide revenue decrease of $2.56 billion.
 

 

Fri
01
May

House, Senate state budget conferees roll up sleeves

With barely more than a month left in the regular session of the Texas Legislature, it’s time for the House and Senate to do
whatever can be done to reach an all-points agreement on House Bill 1, the state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017..
 
Fri
01
May

Is it a simple matter of civil unrest?

The United States has a history of civil unrest. In fact, this nation was formed by civil unrest. In the evening of Dec.16, 1773 founding father Samuel Adams along with the Sons of Liberty boarded three ships in the Boston Harbor and threw 342 chests of tea overboard. This act of civil unrest would spur the American Revolution.
 
Fri
24
Apr

Senate approves bill to remake Public Integrity Unit

Senate passes version of 2016-2017 state budget The Texas Senate on April 14 passed its version of the 2016-2017 state budget. Because the House- and Senate-approved budgets  are $1.6 billion apart, five Senate members and five House members will be appointed to a conference committee to resolve differences.
 
Fri
24
Apr

Why remove 4A and 4B sales tax board members?

Mark your calendars for two upcoming activities. Walk-in early voting for the next Hearne City Council election is Monday, April 27, through Friday, May 1, at city hall, 8:00 a.m. till 4:30p.m. On Saturday, May 2, city halls early voting hours are 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m.
 
Fri
17
Apr

Two Democrat presidents; two different outcomes

By Dennis Phillips

 

In 1962, the United States and President John Kennedy faced the threat of mid-range Russian ballistic missiles being built on the island of Cuba. This threat was real, and many Miami residents along with the rest of the Southern United States rehearsed bomb drills at schools and workplaces. Shelters were built, provisions were stocked and the United States came within just days of a real cold war heating up.

 

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Fri
17
Apr

Senate approves bill to remake Public Integrity Unit

By Ed Sterling

 

Statewide authority to investigate and prosecute public corruption would be moved out of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office under Senate Bill 10, legislation approved by the Senate on April 9. Sen. Joan Huffman, chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee, wrote the legislation under which the Texas Rangers, a division of the Department of Public Safety, would reestablish and support the state’s Public Integrity Unit and assume the initial investigatory role when a complaint is filed against a public official. Cases would be prosecuted in the county where a public official resides.
 
Fri
10
Apr

Water ruling cuts state’s power in droughts

by Jim Malewitz

The Texas Tribune
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a statement from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. A state appeals court has sided with farmers, ranchers and other longstanding water rights holders in a Brazos River case with widespread implications for future water battles in drought-prone Texas.

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Fri
10
Apr

House passes state budget after long debate

By Ed Sterling

After 17 hours of floor debate and hundreds of amendments considered, the Texas House of Representatives on April 1 passed House Bill 1, a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 that appropriates $209.8 billion. The vote was 141 in favor to 5 against, with nay votes cast by Reps. David Simpson, R-Longview; Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler; freshman Matt Rinaldi, RIrving; freshman Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington; and freshman Molly White, RBelton.

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Fri
03
Apr

House, Senate continue with primary task: adopting budget

The House Appropriations Committee on March 24 unanimously approved the General Appropriations Act (House Bill 1) — the first hurdle toward passing a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
 

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