H.Ham

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About H.Ham

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    theHAIF.com
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    Houston, Katy, Humble, Kingwood, BCS, Temple, and more
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  1. Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, filed a bill to slow down the process of building commuter rail projects by adding an additional step—an election. Burton’s Senate Bill 385 would prohibit commuter rail transportation projects from accepting federal funds without holding an election first. “Given the incentives local governments have to spend tax payer dollars and authorize debt in pursuit of federal funds and the fact that commuter rail projects incur ongoing operating costs, the state has a compelling interest to ensure that citizens weigh in on these important matters through an authorization election,” Burton said. The post Texas state Sen. Konnie Burton looks to slow process for commuter rail projects appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  2. Rep. Kevin Roberts, R-Spring is taking aim at what he calls a major quality of life issue in his district with House Bill 1183, which would give county commissioners the power to dictate the hours in which fireworks can be discharged. The bill will receive a public hearing in Austin on Thursday. A total of 98 percent of District 126 is located in unincorporated Harris County. The post Legislation could limit hours for fireworks in unincorporated parts of Harris County appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  3. Thousands of bills have been filed in the Texas Legislature this session related to the state’s transportation, education and health care needs. However, a variety of other bills with topics ranging from hunting to emojis have also been filed by legislators in the North Houston area. Here are a few bills of note: House Bill 3535—filed by state Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands If this bill is passed into law, a qualified landowner would be allowed to contract to participate as a hunter or observer by using a hot air balloon to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes—those ravaging or […] The post Hunting feral hogs from hot air balloons, plus more interesting bills filed by Houston-area legislators appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  4. Meals on Wheels Montgomery County is turning to the local private sector in the wake of proposed cuts to the federal program included in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. There are approximately 5,000 community-run Meals on Wheels programs nationwide, which overall receive 35 percent of their funding from the federal government, according to Meals on Wheels America. The federal funding comes from the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, which is under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There is a proposed 17.9 percent, or $15.1 billion, cut to the department, according to the federal budget […] The post Meals on Wheels Montgomery County looking to local supporters amid potential federal program cuts appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  5. By Brandon Formby The Texas Senate on Tuesday approved a controversial bill that seeks to curb the growth in property taxes that local government agencies like cities and counties levy on landowners. Senate Bill 2, which passed in an 18-12 vote, could require taxing entities to hold an election if the amount of operating and maintenance funds they plan to collect from property taxes is, in general, 5 percent more than what they took in the previous year. State Sen. Paul Bettencourt’s bill has split scores of Texas homeowners and the local officials that they elect. Landowners and some government officials […] The post Texas Senate passes property tax bill state leaders love, local officials oppose appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  6. After hearing a plethora of feedback from school districts, parents and public education proponents throughout the state, the Texas Legislature is making moves to alter the controversial A-F rating system. On Tuesday afternoon, the House Public Education Committee heard a bill by the committee’s chair, state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston. The law currently in place was passed last legislative session as part of House Bill 2804, which is set to go into effect in August 2018, and assigns each public school campus and district six total A-F scores—one for each of the five domains and one summative score. The post Here is how House Public Education Committee chair wants to change the Texas A-F system appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  7. Humble ISD Portrait of a Graduate After formulating a team of community stakeholders that included parents, teachers, students and administrators, the district is expected to pass its Portrait of a Graduate at its March 21 board of trustees meeting. The plan outlines the core competencies community stakeholders expect from students, such as communication, being a global citizen, critical thinking and leadership. City of Houston pension hearing State lawmakers will hold a hearing Monday to discuss the city of Houston’s pension reform plan. The city wass facing $8.1 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for city police officers, firefighters and municipal […] The post City of Houston pension hearing, Humble ISD Portrait of a Graduate: 5 things Humble, Kingwood and Atascocita residents need to know this week appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  8. All week long, Community Impact Newspaper has been promoting Sunshine Week to remind readers about the importance of open records access for both the press and the general public. We have told you what open records you can request, some agencies you can request from, how to get them, as well as some proposed law changes that could affect open records access in Texas. Harris County offices have a range of open records people can access, so we asked officials what requests are most commonly processed: The post Sunshine Week: Requesting public records from Harris County offices appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  9. The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10 are moving forward with projects from the Kingwood Mobility Study, a report the entities commissioned in 2015. Construction will begin this summer on a designated turn lane and traffic signalization at the intersection of West Lake Houston Parkway and Northpark Drive, and another at the Kings Crossing Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway intersection. The $1.2 million projects will take 60-75 days to complete, Sarman said. Passengers traveling east on Northpark Drive will be able to turn right onto West Lake Houston Parkway. Meanwhile, passengers traveling north on West […] The post Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority to begin Kingwood intersection improvements this summer appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  10. In addition to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Greater Houston area residents can enjoy festivals, performances and service opportunities this weekend. Thursday, March 16 through Sunday, March 26 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo The multi-week event features food, concerts, rodeo events and children’s activities. This weekend’s headlining performers include Luke Bryan (Thursday), Fifth Harmony (Friday), Willie Nelson (Saturday), Banda El Recodo (Sunday) and Siggno (Sunday). Weekend performers take the stage around 5:45 p.m., following each evening’s rodeo events. Before heading to the rodeo, find parking information, ticket prices and event times here. Times vary. $5-$10 (general admission), $18-$350 (rodeo and […] The post 5 things to do in Houston this weekend, March 17-19 appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  11. The American Health Care Act is a proposed piece of legislation introduced in early March by Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The bill will be considered by the House’s Budget Committee on Thursday. Here are 10 things to know about the proposed legislation. The post 10 things Texans should know about the American Health Care Act appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  12. Interested in becoming a more engaged citizen in local government or statewide politics? The Texas Public Information Act classifies most information as open to the public, so anyone can request it. Here is your guide to requesting open records from important state agencies and the most common records requests each entity receives: Texas Ethics Commission The post These are the top public records you can request from Texas state agencies appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  13. The Harris County Budget Department released its annual population report in late February showing continued growth in the county, particularly in unincorporated areas. According to the report, if the unincorporated areas of Harris County—which includes Spring, Klein and parts of Cy-Fair—was a city, it would be the second-largest in Texas and the fifth-largest in the U.S. The unincorporated area of the county is more populous than 14 U.S. states, according to the report. The post Report: If unincorporated Harris County was a city, it’d be 5th-largest in U.S. appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  14. In Texas, affordable housing projects are competitive to build. Each project seeking federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development applies through a statewide point system for selection. Currently, the points system takes into consideration developer support from a county commissioner’s court, local neighborhood associations and a representative in the Texas House. Currently, the points system takes into consideration developer support from a county commissioner’s court, local neighborhood associations and a representative in the Texas House. For example, Travis County recently missed out on roughly $7.8 million worth of affordable housing development tax credits because a proposed project failed to […] The post The state’s Affordable Housing debacle: Who should say what projects get built in Texas? appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article
  15. As the Texas legislature gets into full swing, a number of bills have been filed that could potentially impact current open records laws in Texas. Here are 9 pieces of legislation that, if passed, would open public records laws further to allow easier access for to public information: 1. Senate Bill 407 and House Bill 792, filed by state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, respectively, would eliminate the loophole private businesses can use to claim exceptions to open records based on maintaining a competitive advantage. The loophole originated in a Texas Supreme Court case involving […] The post 11 proposed state law changes that could affect how the public accesses Texas open records appeared first on Community Impact Newspaper. View the full article