AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry was in Fredericksburg on May 9 to help break ground in a ceremony to begin construction of a 40,000 square foot expansion of the National Museum of the Pacific War.
While there, Perry spoke to reporters and repeated his assertion that he plans to seek a third full term as governor in 2010. In April, he made public his desire to retain the office.
“If Texas were a corporation – and we would be one of the most efficient, most successful corporations in the world – and if you’re a stockholder in that corporation, why in the world would you want to change your CEO when things are going well?” Perry said.
Perry has served as governor since 2000. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are regarded as potential rivals to Perry for the GOP nomination in 2010.
Energy report looks to future
Texas leads in the nation in energy production and consumption, so what do the years ahead hold for our state’s plentiful sources of energy? Clues may be found in “The Energy Report,” a publication released May 7 by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. The report, now available at www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/, considers economic impact, viability, availability and more regarding various energy sources, such as crude oil, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, coal and uranium, solar energy, wind, ethanol, biodiesel, wood, feedlot waste, landfill gas, municipal solid waste, hydropower, ocean power, geothermal energy and hydrogen. Federal, state and local government subsidies of fuels also are examined.
“Texas has the opportunity to influence the expanding public debate over energy use and production, and our choices can set a new direction for the nation,” Combs said.
“The Energy Report is intended as a reference tool for anyone seeking a better understanding of the Texas energy landscape and the potential impact of new energy policies.
Site shows health care options
About one in four Texans lacks health care coverage, the Department of Insurance says. So, during “Carry the Uninsured Week” April 27 through May 3, the Texas Department of Insurance launched a way to help more uninsured Texans find health care. Of course, it’s via the Web at www.texashealthoptions.com, a site where companies provide information about their health care plans.
Consumers who visit the site may choose from 26 policy types and clicking “submit” to receive a list of specific information about carriers’ policies.
Dam oversight not up to par
The Office of the State Auditor says the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s dam safety program is not able to accomplish its statutory mandate to ensure the safe construction, maintenance, repair and removal of dams in the state of Texas.
In a report released May 7, the State Auditor said that although management has made improvements to the dam safety program over the past four years, the TCEQ still is not able to perform timely inspections of all hazardous dams, ensure that deficiencies identified in inspection reports are corrected, or obtain key information needed to assess the risk posed by many of the state’s dams.
There are 7,603 state-regulated dams, according to the report.
Demand rises for gun permits
In a May 8 copyright story by the Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau, it was reported that the number of people seeking concealed handgun permits in Texas is up by 40 percent.
The number of requests is slowing the turnaround time. It’s taking the Texas Department of Public Safety up to a month longer than the 60 days the law allows for the processing of applications.
State, moms file YFZ briefs
The Third Court of Appeals in Austin on May 9 received documents from state Child Protective Services and from 48 mothers of children removed from the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado in April.
The mothers explain why they believe the state had no call to take their children, and the state tells why it had no choice but to take the action it did.
Meanwhile, on May 19, state district courts in San Angelo will begin to conduct hearings for YFZ families who wish to retrieve their children from foster care.