Economy

 Bob Daemmrich

Department of Public Stimulus

The Department of Public Safety, which is struggling financially, is planning to use $16 million of the federal stimulus dollars that Gov. Rick Perry begrudgingly accepted to plug a hole in the border security budget. The decision follows a mandate by Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Joe Straus that state agencies cut 5 percent out of their budgets to meet an anticipated shortfall.

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 Jacqueline Mermea

Burned Orange

A clash over a beloved campus music club at UT-Austin portends the gnashing of teeth at schools statewide as a budgetary winter threatens to envelop higher education.

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Ticked

The worst outbreak of fever-tick infestations in South Texas in four decades has ranchers and animal-health officials scrambling to prevent not just a loss of billions to the state cattle's industry but an outright ban on our cattle.

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Their State of the State

Governors across the country have been delivering their state report cards in January — but not in Texas, where the State of the State address is only given during odd-numbered years, when the Legislature is in session. Ben Philpott, reporting on politics for KUT News and the Tribune, asked people from different sectors of the economy to offer their own outlook for Texas in 2010.

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 Jacob Villanueva

The Tuition Time Bomb

It costs an average of 63 percent more to attend a four-year state school today than it did in 2003 — and that's still not enough to keep pace with bulging university budgets. Some policy makers see the higher education business model on the cusp of collapse.

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 Jacob Villanueva

Latinos and the Pay Gap

In Texas, they earn 35 percent less than their Anglo counterparts — a disparity that's bigger here than elsewhere. Is it because of education, age, discrimination, or some combination of the above?

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TribBlog: Snip, Snip

No surprise here, but still: State leaders want state agencies to cut five percent from their current budgets "due to the uncertainty of the state's short-term economic future, as well as potentially substantial long-term costs associated with the passage of federal legislation currently being debated in Washington, D.C."

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 Bob Daemmrich

Out of the Race

Texas will not apply for Race for the Top, the one-time federal grant worth up to $700 million for the state. Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott cited strings attached to the potential money: “It was chock full of burdens. Their overall policy was to control curriculum across the country."

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 http://jdlong.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/nighttime-downtown-el-paso.jpg

TribBlog: Forbes Says College Grads Making Bank in the 915

El Paso is in the national news today, and — for the first time in recent memory — it has nothing to do with its proximity to drug war-torn Juarez. Forbes actually has some good news about the border city: Incomes for college graduates in El Paso are rising faster than any other major metropolitan area of the nation.

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 Bob Daemmerich

Outbound Brains

Border communities struggle to keep younger, educated residents when larger cities dangle economic and quality-of-life opportunities. They're afflicted with the reputation of being black holes of talent — where escape is necessary in order to prosper.

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Economic Campaigning

Texas budget writers are hoping December will ring in stronger retail sales — after getting the news Friday that sales tax collections were down 14 percent from this November to last. The state’s economy is always a hot topic in the governor’s race. Ben Philpott is covering the Texas governor's race for KUT News and the Texas Tribune. He takes a look at how the economy's playing so far.

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