NEWS IN STATE GOVERNMENT
Governor Abbott Declares State of Disaster Due to Drought Conditions in 22 Texas Counties: Governor Abbott, certified on January 3, 2020, that exceptional drought conditions posed a threat of imminent disaster to 22 counties. Click here to read the full proclamation.
Governor Abbott Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the Texas Music Office: Governor Greg Abbott today congratulated the Texas Music Office on its 30th anniversary. The Texas Music Office (TMO) serves the Texas music industry by creating new opportunities and connecting businesses in communities all across the state. Click here to read more.
Governor Abbott Statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address: “Tonight, President Trump laid out a clear and compelling vision for our nation…“. Click here to read the full statement.
State Sales Tax Revenue Totaled $3 Billion in January: Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar today said state sales tax revenue totaled $3.08 billion in January, 8.9 percent more than in January 2019. Click here to read more.
General Land Office:
VLB to Host Texas Veterans Benefits Fair in Humble on February 15: A free “come and go” benefits fair for Texas Veterans will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday, February 15, 2019, at the Humble Civic Center. The fair, targeting all area Veterans, military members and their families, is one of several held throughout the state in 2020. Click here to read more.
Railroad Commission Announces New Surface Mining & Communications Division Directors: The Railroad Commission of Texas announces new directors for the agency’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Division and the Communications Division. Brent A. Elliott is the SMRD director and R.J. DeSilva is the Communications director effective today, Feb. 3. Click here to read more.
Railroad Commission Adopts New Pipeline Safety Rules - Prohibits Installation of Cast Iron Pipes; Adds New Requirements for Incident/Accident Reporting: New pipeline safety rules adopted by the Railroad Commission of Texas prohibit natural gas distribution pipeline operators from installing underground cast iron, wrought iron or bare steel pipelines. Click here to read more.
Commission on Environmental Quality:
Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program Accepting Applications: The TxVEMP is now accepting applications for projects to replace or repower local freight and port drayage trucks. Click here to read more.
U.S. Coast Guard Says Baytown, Texas Oil Spill Contained: A crude oil spill in Tabbs Bay near Baytown, Texas that took place on Sunday has been contained, U.S. Coast Guard officials said in a statement on Wednesday. Click here to read the full Reuters article.
DMN Opinion Article by Glenn Hegar: How Some Texas Cities and Retailers are Using a Tax Loophole to snatch sales tax revenue from other communities: some cities and businesses have cut deals to source local sales tax on sales made over the internet solely to particular cities. In exchange, a business may be rebated those tax dollars — in some cases 75% ― money that taxpayers across Texas expect to stay in their own communities. Click here to read the full Dallas Morning News article.
How Will Batteries Plug Into Texas’ Power Grid?: When state lawmakers deregulated the power business two decades ago, they divided the industry into two sectors with distinct duties: Generators could make and sell electricity and regulated utilities could transmit and distribute electricity. But the utilities, whose profits are capped by regulators, want access to a new business opportunity — battery storage. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Voting in Texas on Super Tuesday: Everything You Need to Know: Texas voters will head to the polls March 3 to select their major party candidates for several statewide races and legislative seats. Early voting begins February 18. Click here to find your Texas precinct number and (early) voting locations. Click here to read the Texas Tribune breakdown.
For Texas, Promise and Pitfalls in China: Texas companies are betting big on China. But will the nation’s slowing growth bring a payoff? Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
U.S. Trade Deficit Falls in 2019 for First Time in Six Years as China Tariffs Reduce Imports: The trade deficit fell slightly in 2019 to mark the first decline in six years, mostly reflecting U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods that reduced the flow of imports from the Asian giant. Click here to read the full Market Watch article.
Trump Acquitted of Impeachment Charges: President Trump was acquitted Wednesday by the Republican-controlled Senate of charges that he abused the powers of his office and obstructed Congress as it probed his attempts to pressure Ukraine into political investigations. Click here to read the full Washington Post article.