Austin And Houston Face Off In Legislature Over Music History Museum

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By Alexandra HartMarch 28, 2017 10:45 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas just wouldn’t be Texas without a good intra-city rivalry now and then.Today, it’s Houston versus Austin facing off in the legislature over a proposed Texas Music History Museum. 

The Senate Business and Commerce committee is set to hear a bill that would designate Austin as its official home. Senate Bill 1147 would allow the State Preservation Board to establish a nonprofit foundation to create and operate the museum. The proposed site is across from the Bullock Texas State History Museum, near the Capitol.

But advocates in Houston say their city was tapped for the museum, as well as federal funding, several years ago.

Severe storms over the weekend slammed the Dallas with large hail and wind damage– some counties in North Texas saw up to softball-sized hailstones

And here there’s large hail, there’s hail damage. Where there’s hail damage, there’s often scammers trying to defraud people seeking repairs.

Ben Gonzalez is a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Insurance. He says the agency will be sending investigators to the area to prevent fraud.

“When you have these areas of concentrated storm damage, we’ll often send investigators to the scene to serve as extra eyes for local authorities local police to look for kind of fly by night scams that will move into the area hit by a storm,” Gonzales says. 

He says the best way to avoid scams is to use local, familiar repair companies

“Get estimates and be sure they have professional company letterhead and be sure there’s clear contact information,” he says. “You have to be able to get a hold of these people afterwards.” 

Gonzales says if you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud, alert local police and the Texas Department of Insurance.

With the repeal of Obamacare out of the picture, Congressional Republicans are setting their sights on reforming the tax code. It’s a top goal of Republican Kevin Brady of the Woodlands, who’s the chair of the House Ways and Means committee.

But tax reform may have gotten a bit more difficult. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider reports:

There were two major reasons Republican leaders sought to repeal Obamacare before tackling tax reform. The first was political. They’d been promising repeal for years. The second was financial.

“Repealing the Affordable Care Act would have cut government expenditures significantly,” says Bruce McGovern, associate dean and an expert on tax law at South Texas College of Law Houston. “And that would have allowed for significant tax cuts in any tax reform. Leaving the Affordable Care Act in place means that those federal expenditures still have to be met, and that’s going to make having tax cuts in any tax reform much more difficult or at least much more expensive.”

Speaking on Fox News, Chairman Brady admitted the failure of the GOP health care bill makes his job harder. But he said he’s determined to push ahead and hopes to pass a tax reform bill out of the Ways and Means Committee later this spring.