News

Wed
22
Mar

A brand new wall

David Winters, owner of Enhanced Space, paints the Branding Wall on the outside of the Texana Center for the Arts

By Jessica Coleman
Staff Writer
Downtown Edna is getting a bit of a facelift, thanks to the Texana Arts Council, The Texana Center for the Arts, and artists from Austin and Galveston.
David Winters and Corey Mullins of Enhanced Space, an art company out of Austin, have been working tirelessly on the a mural on the east-facing wall of the Texana Center for the Arts. Winters, who owns the company, has a B.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and has done work for clients such as Whole Foods.

Wed
22
Mar

Senator Kolkhorst Pushes Passage of Tax Relief Package

The Texas Senate passed major tax relief legislation to reduce the burden on homeowners and businesses. In passing Senate Bill 2, authored by Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and co-authored by Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), the trigger rate for an election was lowered to five percent from the current eight percent when a local government entity attempts to increase its tax collections. The bill requires an automatic election if the five percent rollback rate is exceeded, and also creates a Property Tax Advisory Board at the office of the Texas Comptroller.

Tue
21
Mar

Texas Senate News for March 21

SENATE PASSES TAX REFORM MEASURES
The Senate passed two bills Tuesday intended to slow the growth of property taxes and gradually phase out the state franchise tax. The first measure, SB 2 by Houston Senator Paul Bettencourt, comes after statewide interim committee hearings where people testified to out-of-control property tax growth and problems with challenging appraisals. "We need real reform now," he said. "Homeowners pay in many cases pay eight, nine, ten percent more a year and many commercial property owners are paying fifteen to twenty percent more per year, year after year."

Tue
21
Mar

Texas State Government Faces Significant, Long-Term Financial Challenges

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar today released a special edition of Fiscal Notes highlighting long-term financial obligations facing Texas state government. Prior to the 2017 legislative session, Hegar sent a letter to lawmakers outlining some of these obligations which, if left unaddressed, could negatively impact the state’s credit rating and limit the amount of revenue available for general spending.

The report examines four of these obligations:

Tue
21
Mar

Texas Senate News for March 20

COMMITTEE CONSIDERS EASING HANDGUN LICENSE COSTS
Texans seeking a license-to-carry (LTC) permit would see a much smaller fee under a bill considered by the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday. The current fee of $140 to apply for a license that permits concealed and open carry of handguns in the state is among the highest in the nation, says bill author and Jacksonville Senator Robert Nichols. "These fees impose an undue burden on people's constitutional right to bear arms as it relates to concealed carry or license to carry," he said. "This will take Texas from having one of the highest fees in the nation to one of the lowest in the nation and still covers what I believe to be the real cost of running the program."

Fri
17
Mar

Texas Senate News Week in Review for March 17

SENATE SENDS SB SIX TO HOUSE
The Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would require people in public buildings, including schools, to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their current birth certificate. Dubbed the "bathroom bill" by media reports, the measure drew flak from opponents who say it unfairly targets transgender Texans. Bill author and Brenham Senator Lois Kolkhorst said the bill wasn't about hurting people, but rather is needed to keep men out of women's restrooms. "The heart and the soul of this bill, I think, for me as a woman is the privacy, the safety and the security for all people, and the people that have bad intentions, we can prevent them before they act upon them" she said.

Fri
10
Mar

Texas Senate News Week in Review for March 10

BATHROOM BILL MOVES FORWARD
Following a marathon 20 hour hearing, a bill that would require a person to use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate in public buildings is on its way to the full Senate. The Senate State Affairs Committee heard hours of testimony about SB 6 on Tuesday, with supporters saying it's necessary to keep sexual predators out of women's restrooms and critics saying it discriminates against transgender individuals. Bill author and Brenham Senator Lois Kolkhorst said the bill was carefully crafted to find a fair solution to the issue. "Senate Bill 6, the Texas Privacy Act, is a bill that many of us have spent a great deal of time on carefully crafting to find the balance of privacy, decency, respect and dignity to protect women, children and all people for that matter," she said in her opening remarks on the bill.

Thu
09
Mar

Texas Senate News for March 9

PANEL TAKES UP MODIFIED HAILSTORM SUIT LEGISLATION
The Senate Business and Commerce Committee Thursday considered a modified version of a bill intended to address what supporters say is an increase in lawsuit abuse surrounding hailstorm and other weather related claims. Author and committee Chair Senator Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills said the changes to the filed legislation came after working with stakeholders to address concerns in the bill as filed. "Through the process, what we're saying in this is that we heard you, we made significant changes, and I will say significant changes," he said.

Thu
09
Mar

Fugitive nabbed near Edna

Jon Raymond, 34, of Victoria was arrested in the early morning hours of March 9 at a residence off of CR 101, outside of Edna, after he failed to show up for court proceedings in Victoria County.

Raymond was arrested in April of 2016 after he was suspected of shooting three subjects in Victoria but failed to appear for his scheduled court appearance. A warrant was issued for his arrest in October of last year. Raymond has been a fugitive ever since.

The US Marshals, Victoria Police Department SWAT team, Victoria Police Department Criminal Investigation Division, Jackson County Sheriff's office, Customs and Border Protection and Rockport Police Department descended on the house where Raymond was taken into custody without further incident.

Also located in the residence were small amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana, along with a firearm. Raymond was arrested on the outstanding warrant while the narcotics and firearms investigation is ongoing.

Wed
08
Mar

Texas Senate News for March 8

SENATE APPROVES BILL TARGETING SEX OFFENDING TEACHERS
Teachers who commit sex offenses would automatically lose their teaching certificate under a bill unanimously approved by the Senate Wednesday. Senate Bill 7 author and Houston Senator Paul Bettencourt says that the number of inappropriate teacher-student relationships has grown dramatically. He pointed to a 43 percent increase in investigations into such cases in the first five months of this fiscal year as compared to last, up to 97 cases. Some of these cases involve the youngest student populations. "Members, when we have teachers having sexual relationships at elementary schools, I would consider this literally an epidemic," he said.

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