AM Update 6/20/12
7:50 am
Wed June 20, 2012

AM Update: Unemployment Benefits Ending for Some, Border Patrol Changes, Summer Solstice Arrives

Unemployment Benefits Changing for Some Texans

The Texas Workforce Commission announced on Tuesday that certain groups of unemployed Texans won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits after 60 weeks starting in July.

Previously, claimants could receive benefits for up to 73 weeks. Those already receiving benefits based on the older criteria will continue to be eligible. The commission estimates that about 22,453 individuals may be affected going forward.

The changes come due to Texas’ improving unemployment rate, resulting in revisions to the length of Emergency Unemployment Compensation offered to job searchers.

Letters will be sent to affected claimants. More information is available directly from the Texas Workforce Commission.

U.S. House Approves Bill Allowing More Access to Federal Lands

The U.S. House approved a bill yesterday which would allow Border Patrol officers to circumvent more than a dozen environmental laws on federally managed lands within 100 miles of the nation’s borders.

The bill, which is opposed by environmentalists, will give border agents more access to rugged areas –allowing border agents to drive vehicles where it was once prohibited, for instance.

Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican from Utah, offered the amendment as part of a modification to the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act.

According to a press release issued by Rep. Bishop’s office, the law “Clarifies that federal land management agencies may not prohibit border patrol efforts to ‘prevent all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband through the international land borders of the United States.’”

As Summer Starts, Think Sunscreen Safety

Although we’ve been enjoying warm temperatures in Central Texas for months, today marks the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Also called the summer solstice, today will be the longest day of the year. The sun will set at 8:36 p.m. today in Austin.  

As summer gets into full swing, it’s a good time to remember the importance of protecting yourself and your family from the sun. Starting this week, sunscreen labeling is required to follow new and more stringent guidelines to help consumers choose, although the FDA granted a six-month delay to manufacturers on new labeling requirements. Consumers can still protect themselves, according the FDA, by looking for products labeled “broad spectrum” with an SPF of at least 15.