Tribpedia: Texas Association Of Business

The Texas Association of Business (TAB) is an advocacy group that focuses on issues that impact business owners in Texas. The group often testifies on issues during the legisative session, pushing for lower taxes, fewer regulations and less government spending.

While TAB advocates for conservative business issues, the group occassionally works with unlikely allies.  During the 2007 session, TAB ...

Business Groups Back Water Ballot Measure

A pump house at Lake J.B. Thomas sits high and dry with almost no water remaining to pump. The lake level is at 4.60 percent.
A pump house at Lake J.B. Thomas sits high and dry with almost no water remaining to pump. The lake level is at 4.60 percent.

Next month, Texans will go to the polls to decide whether to authorize $6 billion in bonding authority dedicated to building and fixing water infrastructure. Some major business and environmental groups are backing it, but the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation and some Tea Party members have concerns about the measure.

Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.
Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Guest Column: How to Bridge the Budget Gap

As the clock counts down to the end of the regular session on May 30, it’s fair to ask House and Senate leaders — and all members — to meet our needs, not our wants. Here's how they can bridge the multi-billion-dollar gap between their budget plans without any new taxes.

Demonstrators stand in front of the Texas Capitol on Feb. 22, 2011 to show their opposition to immigration legislation.
Demonstrators stand in front of the Texas Capitol on Feb. 22, 2011 to show their opposition to immigration legislation.

For Republicans, the Hazards of Red Meat

The growth of the state’s Hispanic population and the rise of immigration as a political issue put Texas Republicans in a tight spot — especially the ones with statewide aspirations.

Former state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, is shown in 2011.
Former state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, is shown in 2011.

Berman Leads Charge From GOP's Right Flank

In 2009, state Rep. Leo Berman's bills — like the ones restricting illegal immigrants to certain geographical regions and denying them access to higher education — failed to gain traction. But with a Republican supermajority now in control, this could very well be the session of Leo.

Rainy Day Fund: Is it Drizzling Out — or Pouring?

Texas, like many other states, is proposing billions of dollars in cuts to help close a budget gap. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, one thing Texas has that nobody else does is $9 billion in a piggy bank called the Rainy Day Fund — and lawmakers are divided over whether to crack it open.

Battle Over Rainy Day Fund Heating Up

Texas, like many other states, is proposing billions of dollars in cuts to help close a budget gap. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, one thing Texas has that nobody else does is $9 billion in a piggy bank called the Rainy Day Fund — and lawmakers are divided over whether to crack it open.

Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.
Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Hammond: No Time to Be Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish

We must continue to fight to ensure that we implement cost-saving reforms that reflect Texas' commitment to prosperity and to economic growth. But our current budget shortfall isn't a time to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

An estimated 25,000 demonstrators attended the rally in Dallas to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform on May 1, 2010.
An estimated 25,000 demonstrators attended the rally in Dallas to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform on May 1, 2010.

TribBlog: Proposed Immigration Laws Create Unlikely Alliances

Proposing state enforcement of immigration laws can produce strange bedfellows. "Who would imagine that after 28 years of law enforcement the ACLU would be talking so nicely about me,” Sheriff Richard Wiles joked after being introduced as a common-sense sheriff by ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke for his opposition to proposed legislation patterned on Arizona’s.

El Paso's Woody Hunt in Austin on Nov. 30, 2010.
El Paso's Woody Hunt in Austin on Nov. 30, 2010.

Woody Hunt: The TT Interview

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The chairman of the Governor's Business Council on why the business community cares about higher ed, why we have to incentivize outcomes, whether it's possible to increase productivity and who's to blame if we don't.

TribBlog: Changes Ahead For TEXAS Grants?

With the threat of massive budget cuts looming on the horizon, state higher education leaders are looking for ways to get more out of what few dollars they may ultimately get to spend. One program that may see some changes is the Toward Excellence, Access, and Success Grant program, the state’s largest financial aid program.

Newly-elected state Rep. David Simpson at the head of the line to prefile bills on Nov. 8, 2010.
Newly-elected state Rep. David Simpson at the head of the line to prefile bills on Nov. 8, 2010.

The Crackdown Begins

Republican state lawmakers, buoyed by their party’s resounding victories on Election Day, have filed several bills ahead of the next legislative session that signal how far they're willing to go in tackling illegal immigration. State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, filed a nine-bill bundle that included a proposal to require picture IDs at polling places.

"Generation TX" stickers
"Generation TX" stickers

Learnstrong

Can a $3 million marketing campaign to promote higher education change the culture of a country-sized state in which just 27 percent of the population has a college degree or certificate? It worked for cancer ...

State lawmakers on the Sunset Advisory Commission make final remarks after the panel unanimously approves changes to the Division of Workers' Compensation's medical quality review process.

After Sunset

Sunset Advisory Commissioners unanimously approved a series of changes to the troubled Division of Workers' Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday, but not before aggressively rewriting the Sunset staff's original recommendations to improve the division's medical quality review process.

Division of Workers' Compensation Commissioner Rod Bordelon and the Sunset Advisory Commission, May 26, 2010.
Division of Workers' Compensation Commissioner Rod Bordelon and the Sunset Advisory Commission, May 26, 2010.

Sunset Grill

Physician fraud investigators inside the troubled Division of Workers' Compensation say state examiners failed to uncover serious problems there — and then recommended changes that would take key decisions away from trained physicians and give them to bureaucrats.

The Nativists Are Restless

Texans narrowly oppose a "pathway to citizenship" for illegal immigrants, strongly favor an end to in-state tuition for non-citizens at state colleges and universities, would support a constitutional "English-only" amendment and overwhelmingly say that businesses should verify the immigration status of their workers, according to the new UT/Texas Tribune poll.

TribBlog: Small Businesses Fear Effect of Healthcare Reform

The uncertainty over the Congressional healthcare bill has incited fear among some small business associations in Texas. They gathered with U.S. Chamber of Commerce representatives on Tuesday to say they're worried about ripple effects from the national healthcare reform — and unintended consequences for small businesses.

Happy Birthday, Stimulus!

Later today — exactly one year to the day since President Obama signed the federal stimulus bill — the Austin Water Utility will break ground on a $32 million wastewater treatment project paid for with stimulus dollars. Matt Largey of KUT News reports on other ways in which the stimulus has impacted the Texas economy.
Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.
Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Guest Column: The 2010 Agenda: Business

To restore jobs lost during the recession and to prepare for those ready to enter the job market, Texas must create more than two million jobs in the next decade. A key factor in achieving this target is having educated employees available to fill positions as they become available.

Race to the Bottom Line

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The feds want Texas to sign onto a movement toward national education standards in order to get up to $700 million in "Race to the Top" money. Texas officials say our students —and our curriculum — aren't for sale. 

Perry Reversal Irks Business Group

The leader of Texas' largest business group said Wednesday that Gov. Rick Perry's new election promise to crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers would be unfair and untenable.