NewspaperTree.com Blog

El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Posts Tagged ‘stimulus package

NPT Capitol: Perry’s office to testify at the stimulus select committee

perry2On Wednesday, The House select committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding will hear testimony from the Office of the Governor. State Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, who chairs the committee, has been one of the most outspoken critics of Gov. Rick Perry’s handling of the stimulus money, particularly his public turning-down of over $550m of unemployment benefits that Texas could receive if it made changes to its unemployment code.

If attending, get there early and bring popcorn…

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 3, 2009 at 2:39 pm

NPT Capitol Round Up

nptlogo2Check out NPT’s new weekly feature, Capitol Round-up. This week, The feds fund, Dutton disses, Pollsters provoke and Berman’s bi-lingual, while everyone has something to say when it comes to Mexico. Here’s a sneak peak:

— Scene of the week: the live sonogram at the capitol: During a press conference in support of SB 182, which would require any woman seeking an abortion, to first have the opportunity to hear the heartbeat and see an ultrasound image of the fetus, organizers included a pregnant women undergoing a live sonogram, which was projected on a pull down screen adjacent to the speakers. [link]

— Busy week for:
Gov. Perry. He was in Washington on Monday meeting with the President. He flew back to Austin in order to speak at a pro-life rally at the capitol on Tuesday, got on a plane and was speaking in El Paso by mid-afternoon, and was back in Austin to speak at two different events on Wednesday.

— Weird moment:
Leo Berman. The Tyler state rep, when asked if there should be an amnesty for illegal immigrants in Texas, repeatedly punctured his response with the word “why” and even switched it up asking “por que.” Listen below.

— Question of the week: Will Dunnam’s Select Committee tour come to El Paso?

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 28, 2009 at 9:55 am

NPT Capitol: Pickett explains the ins and outs of the stimulus package

pickettThe stimulus package is a funny thing. State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso and chairman of the House Transportation committee gave me a little insight into how it works yesterday.

Regarding transportation, Texas will receive about $2.6bn. But it’s not like DC just cuts Texas a check. It cuts hundreds. Of the $2.6bn, $1.1bn goes straight to local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPOs) through a complex formula funding rubric. The rest, in theory, goes to goes to TXDOT.

For El Paso this means about $21m in-pocket, since Governor Perry asked for the money last week. Sounds like a lot right? Let’s get boots on and shovels in the ground! This is supposed to be a “stimulus package” after all. Gosh, imagine what you could do with $21m…

Not a lot, would seem to be the answer….

–Ben Wright

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 25, 2009 at 10:29 am

NPT: El Paso? Poor, but not cheap, comparatively speaking.

According to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, El Paso ranks near the bottom of cities in the U.S. for home affordability. According to their survey, El Paso median income and home prices went from $38,600 and $117,000, respectively in 2005, to $37,200 and $131,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008. By their measure, El Paso ranks as number 213 in the nation for affordability. Here’s the news release about the list. Here’s the explanation of how they arrive at the numbers: The NAHB/Wells Fargo HOI is a measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning that area’s median income during a specific quarter. Prices of new and existing homes sold are collected from actual court records by First American Real Estate Solutions, a marketing company. Mortgage financing conditions incorporate interest rates on fixed- and adjustable-rate loans reported by the Federal Housing Finance Board.

For the spreadsheet with the numbers, go here and click on the third item (“The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index: Complete History by Metropolitan Area (1991-Current”).

Sito Negron

nptlogo2

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:46 am

NPT Capitol: Pickett does a Clyburn

pickettState Rep Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, filed a concurrent resolution yesterday requesting federal stimulus money to flow into Texas.

HCR29 requests that the 81st Legislature, “express its intent that the state accept federal economic stimulus funds appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (HR1) or any other such legislation.”

The resolution, similar to one filed by State Senator Eliot Shapleigh, D-Paso, (but broader in scope), takes advantage of the Clyburn amendment (Section 1115 of HR1) which provides for states whose governors have expressed hostility toward the stimulus package.(Link)

Texas governor Rick Perry, has derided the bailout in recent weeks and has turned down federal money on more than one occasion. (link) Usually governors have to request federal money, but Section 1115 allows the money to be requested by a concurrent resolution of a state legislature. (link)
perry2Pickett’s resolution, if adopted, would represent such a request. However HR1 is currently seeking passage in the US Senate. Section 1115 may be the targeted for deletion by some conservative lawmakers.

Pickett is currently on the floor of the Texas House and as such cannot be reached for comment. More to follow…

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 3, 2009 at 11:09 am

NPT Capitol: Stimulating Shapleigh

shapleigh1State Senator Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso today filed a concurrent resolution that takes advantage of the so-called Clyburn Amendment in the federal stimulus package.

The Clyburn amendment, passed in the US House version of HR1, allows states to request stimulus aid through a concurrent resolution of the state Legislature – effectively bypassing state governors that oppose the stimulus legislation in Congress.

The bill is targeted at Governor Perry, who has expressed hostility to the stimulus package (and all things Washington, especially a certain someone) in recent weeks. If the Texas Legislature passed a series of concurrent resolutions like Shapleigh’s, (read it here) Perry could be effectively shut out of much the action when it comes to federal money in Texas.

Read more on NPT

The resolution, if passed, would, “urge the Congress…to provide emergency funding and resources” aimed at “addressing increasing delays at U.S. ports of entry on the Texas-Mexico border.” Specifically it asks that, “the congress provide funding for 24-hour customs operations and for infrastructure improvements, including more customs inspection lanes and more customs inspectors.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 2, 2009 at 10:53 pm