- UT System Adviser O'Donnell Explains Research Stance – Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune
In addition to supporting research, [Rick O’Donnell] says, “I also am unafraid to look at the data, ask hard questions around productivity, cost-benefits and accountability because I think it is possible to measure the value of research to our common weal.”
Why did the state’s higher education special interests react so violently to that last bit?
- Ogden again says business tax needs attention – Jason Embry, Postcards
Asked if the tax should be changed, Dewhurst said: “We will grow out of the structural shortfall over time, and if we don’t tweak that tax, then it’s going to take a little longer. If we do, then it will be shorter.”
He also was vague about whether he would support a constitutional amendment.
“Ultimately that tax ought to be changed,” Dewhurst said. “Whether it ought to be increased or not is a different subject. But to me it’s always unfair if someone’s losing money and they’re paying tax. It’s also unfair to startup companies that are oftentimes losing money but still have to pay a tax on their gross receipts.”
Somebody sounds like a U.S. Senate candidate! That, and the anti-tax political environment suggest that modifying the business tax will be punted to a future session.
- Barnett Shale: Legislation could jump-start solar power in Texas – Jack Smith, Barnett Shale Blog
Under the bill, a charge would be added to monthly electric bills to provide an estimated $1.2 billion for solar rebates for residential, commercial and utility-scale projects over five years. The charge would be $1 per residential meter, $5 per commercial meter and $50 per industrial meter.
Smart green initiative, or a subtle wealth transfer to benefit special interests and the affluent at the expense of average home and business owners?
- Austerity Helps Economic Recovery, Recent Data Show – Investors.com
With [U.S.] House Republicans poised to unveil a plan to cut more than $4 trillion in spending, a growing body of economic literature suggests that extensive cuts are the way to go.
The research comes not just from free market think tanks, but from mainstream and center-left groups too. The common thread: Cuts in services and entitlements are indebted nations’ surest way to a recovery.
“It is not that cutting spending creates growth,” said Brian Riedl, an economist with the conservative Heritage Foundation. “It is that it removes the barriers to growth. Typically the private sector can spend much more productively than politicians and bureaucrats.”
Don’t expect to see such empirical economic data featuring prominently in the state political media’s coverage of the Texas legislative session.
- Californian politicians ask Perry how to grow economy – Brian Gaar, Statesman Business Blog
Another one you may not see in various news roundups compiled by the state’s political media.
- Texas Senate Q1 FEC Fundraising Expectations – Perry vs World
- Hispanic lawmakers sue Perry, Texas to halt redistricting, Lynn Brezosky, Houston Chronicle
Preemptive warfare that Liberals can embrace!
- Gov. Perry forgot the colonias! – David Jennings, Big Jolly Politics
- Thanks to Alleged Carve-Out for Uresti, Sonogram Bill Back on Track – Abby Rapoport, Texas Observer
- Supreme Court Stays First Pentobarbital Execution – Brandi Grissom, Texas Tribune
As noted in the story, the stay was unrelated to the change in drugs.
- Bexar Democrats' dueling continues – John Gonzalez, San Antonio Express-News
- State takes action against ATI for-profit career schools – Byron Harrison, WFAA.com
- Peña spearheads legislation to combat election fraud — Julian Aguilar, Texas Tribune
- Senate OKs Renaming, Shrinking RR Commission – Aziza Musa, The Texas Tribune
- Texas House budget hammers Harris Co. on Medicaid – Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle
Press-release journalism from a guy who’s previously been caught plagiarizing at the Chronicle.
- San Antonio Express-News spikes column critical of big advertiser – Jim Romenesko, Poynter.org
- Physician Bills Raise Concern About Safety, Motive – Emily Ramshaw and Matt Stiles, Texas Tribune
There seems to be a lot more to this story than political donations. Too bad the Trib didn’t pursue it.
- How the Political Class Got Its Pound of Flesh from Microsoft – Michael Kinsley, LATimes
Regrettably, Austin frequently has the same attitude.