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Shining a light on Texas’ pile of debt — and shadowy bond votes

By   /  September 23, 2016  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, News, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

Texas Bond Review Board

“Alarming levels” of local government debt are spurring Texas lawmakers to bring more transparency and accountability to bond elections. Here are three modest reforms.

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HCC boss to visit Cuba on taxpayers’ dime

By   /  September 22, 2016  /  Education, News, Texas  /  No Comments

The Hotel Saratoga in Old Havana offers suites to international travelers starting at $516 per night.

Chancellor Cesar Maldonado of HCC is taking a three-day junket to Cuba, with taxpayers covering the $6,000 bill.

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McAllen dropout school costs $48,788 per student

By   /  September 22, 2016  /  Education, News, Texas  /  No Comments

McAllen Independent School District photo

A “dropout recovery school” in McAllen is costing taxpayers $48,788 per pupil — more than five times district and state averages. Despite the record spending, Lamar Academy’s dropout rate is the district’s worst at 13.8 percent.

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Poof! Hays County school zone cameras gone

By   /  September 20, 2016  /  Criminal Justice, Education, News, Texas  /  No Comments

Shutterstock

With little discussion — except to defend its motives — the Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday morning abruptly ended its school zone camera program.

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Houston mayor offers half-serious pension plan

By   /  September 19, 2016  /  Labor, News, Pensions, Texas  /  No Comments

Photo by Traci Patterson/Creative Commons

The pension plan that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced this week is about as realistic as Houston can handle right now.

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Hays County school-zone camera program could prove a costly mistake

By   /  September 19, 2016  /  Criminal Justice, News, Texas  /  No Comments

Shutterstock

Facing a lawsuit and a reporter’s inquiries, the Hays County Commissioner’s Court is asking County Judge Bert Cobb to tear up a contract for a school zone speed-safety camera program. The decision could leave taxpayers liable for as much as $3 million in stipulations made for early termination of what county officials contended was a […]

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