KUT Morning Newspod May 12, 2011
The Texas Senate is holding a hearing Thursday on a bill that would compel energy companies to disclose the substances they use in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process to harvest natural gas trapped underground. The House passed a similar measure Wednesday. As KUT’s Mose Buchele reports, the legislation could bring researchers one step closer to figuring out the enviromental impact of fracking.
City to Vote on Changes to Historic Tax Program
The Austin City Council is voting on changes to its historic landmark tax exemption program Thursday. If approved, the city manager would be tasked with creating an ordinance that would include stricter requirements for designating homes and buildings as historic landmarks.
There would be a $2,500 cap on the property tax exemption for owners of historic homes. That would be implemented almost immediately for landmarks approved after January 1, 2010 and for all existing landmarks that have a change of ownership.
The cap would be phased in for people who currently get a bigger tax break than the proposed cap. The city says it wants to make the changes to strike a better balance with the need for preservation and the need to bring in more tax dollars.
House Votes “NO” on Bill To Limit Corporal Punishment in Schools
The Associated Press reports Republicans in the Texas House defeated a bill that would have required schools to get parental permission before using corporal punishment. Democratic State Representative Alma Allen had proposed the law. She said parents should have the right to determine how their children are punished.
In Texas, each school district sets its own rules and guidelines for corporal punishment. Republican State Representative Wayne Christian said the bill would have tied the hands of teachers and administrators.