News Roundup: New Census Data Show Dallas And Midland Rank High For Population Growth

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelApril 18, 2019 3:56 pm

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

New data the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday shows counties and regions that have has the most population growth in recent years. Davis Land with Houston Public Media talks through the numbers:

Last year the Dallas metro area led the nation in terms of one-year growth, adding 130,000 people. Phoenix followed, adding 96,000. Houston was third on the list, adding 91,000 people between 2017 and 2018. 

When you look back to 2010, the Dallas metro area saw the most population growth in the nation, adding about 1,100,000 people. The Houston area trails right behind, adding about 40,000 fewer people than Dallas, since 2010. 

When it comes to percentages though, Midland grew nearly 26% over the same time frame. Between 2017 and 2018, Midland grew the most of any metro area relative to its own size – by 4.3%. Odessa also saw a bump in its population at 3.2%. 

A Texas Senator wants to repeal the state’s Vehicle Safety Inspection program. Bob Hall, a Republican from Edgewood, authored Senate Bill 87. During a Senate Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday, he said study after study has shown annual vehicle inspections are ineffective.

“Multiple independent studies continue to show that there is no discernable difference in highway accident statistics between states with vehicle inspections and those that do not inspect vehicles periodically. Because mandatory vehicle inspections provide Texans with little or no discernable safety benefits, it best be defined as an unnecessary and repressive tax on operating a motor vehicle,” Hall said. 

A number of people representing businesses that perform vehicle inspections testified against the bill. One of them was oil and lube shop owner Aaron Porter. He told lawmakers that studies don’t capture all real-world scenarios.

“We’ll get people comin’ up on the lot, asking us, ‘Will this pass inspection?’ We look at it and say, ‘No.’ They leave, they go get the item fixed, come back, and it passes. But in the computers that will never count as a fail because you can’t count that,” Porter said.

Originally, SB 87 would have also repealed the controversial Texas Driver Responsibility Program, which charges people additional yearly fees for certain traffic violations. But Hall said he was removing that provision. The bill was left pending in committee

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for nine Texas counties affected by severe weather this past weekend. The weather included thunderstorms and tornadoes that caused several fatalities and widespread property damage. In a statement he released Wednesday, Abbott said, “Working together, we will ensure that these East Texas communities are rebuilt stronger than ever before.”