Economy

The Last Time Around

How will lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion — and maybe several billion more — in the next legislative session? In all likelihood, by doing what they did in 2003, when things were almost this bad.

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Jacqueline Mermea

On the Records: Sunrise?

The Texas Ethics Commission and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts are opening up more of their data to the public at no charge.

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Bob Daemmrich

Department of Public Stimulus

The Department of Public Safety, which is struggling financially, is planning to use $16 million of the federal stimulus dollars that Gov. Rick Perry begrudgingly accepted to plug a hole in the border security budget. The decision follows a mandate by Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Joe Straus that state agencies cut 5 percent out of their budgets to meet an anticipated shortfall.

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Jacqueline Mermea

Burned Orange

A clash over a beloved campus music club at UT-Austin portends the gnashing of teeth at schools statewide as a budgetary winter threatens to envelop higher education.

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Ticked

The worst outbreak of fever-tick infestations in South Texas in four decades has ranchers and animal-health officials scrambling to prevent not just a loss of billions to the state cattle's industry but an outright ban on our cattle.

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Jacob Villanueva

No Experience Necessary

Few members of the State Board of Education have finance expertise. Should we be concerned that they manage the investments of the $23 billion Permanent School Fund?

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TribBlog: Where's the Stimulus?

Texas ranks poorly among the states when it comes to letting taxpayers know how it's using federal stimulus dollars, according to a report released today by several nonprofit public interest groups.

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Their State of the State

Governors across the country have been delivering their state report cards in January — but not in Texas, where the State of the State address is only given during odd-numbered years, when the Legislature is in session. Ben Philpott, reporting on politics for KUT News and the Tribune, asked people from different sectors of the economy to offer their own outlook for Texas in 2010.

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Jacob Villanueva

Latinos and the Pay Gap

In Texas, they earn 35 percent less than their Anglo counterparts — a disparity that's bigger here than elsewhere. Is it because of education, age, discrimination, or some combination of the above?

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Jacob Villanueva

The Tuition Time Bomb

It costs an average of 63 percent more to attend a four-year state school today than it did in 2003 — and that's still not enough to keep pace with bulging university budgets. Some policy makers see the higher education business model on the cusp of collapse.

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TribBlog: Snip, Snip

No surprise here, but still: State leaders want state agencies to cut five percent from their current budgets "due to the uncertainty of the state's short-term economic future, as well as potentially substantial long-term costs associated with the passage of federal legislation currently being debated in Washington, D.C."

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Bob Daemmrich

Out of the Race

Texas will not apply for Race for the Top, the one-time federal grant worth up to $700 million for the state. Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott cited strings attached to the potential money: “It was chock full of burdens. Their overall policy was to control curriculum across the country."

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The Brief: January 13, 2010

Remember those kids who would do extra homework assignments — without turning them in? Apparently Gov. Rick Perry and Education Commissioner Robert Scott might have just such students.

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TribBlog: Forbes Says College Grads Making Bank in the 915

El Paso is in the national news today, and — for the first time in recent memory — it has nothing to do with its proximity to drug war-torn Juarez. Forbes actually has some good news about the border city: Incomes for college graduates in El Paso are rising faster than any other major metropolitan area of the nation.

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