Columns/Opinions

Tue
20
Feb
Edgar's picture

Small businesses need to create an employee handbook

By BUSINESS TIPS

 

The SBDC has had the opportunity to offer an Employee Handbook seminar in the past. In this article, I would like to share some of the information learned regarding the importance of having a well-developed Handbook. Many times small businesses don’t consider having an employee handbook due to the small number of staff they have. Having an employee handbook will always benefit a business; you will be prepared for when your business grows and, hopefully,

you won’t face the uncertainty of what you can or cannot do when employing and managing staff. In addition, you will have well defined employee policies that can settle disputes before they start and protect both your business and your employees from the potential of litigation.

 

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Tue
13
Feb
Edgar's picture

2018 Elections offer unique opportunities in voting for candidates

By RICHARD THORPE

Having served as a Cattle Raisers officer for almost six years now, I have had the privilege of meeting many of our state and federal elected officials.

I’ve been impressed with the commitment that many have shown to protecting the property rights of ranchers and landowners, and have been confounded by the lack of understanding others have had on this fundamental issue.

I can honestly say that I have seen and worked with the consequences of elections and I am more convinced than ever that every election is worthy of our participation.

 

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Tue
13
Feb
Edgar's picture

A cloudy day for sunshine laws in Texas

By ROSS RAMSEY

It might deflate your confidence in the state of Texas to find that the people protecting your access to government information have their thumbs on the scale. That they’re playing favorites. That they put requests from their enemies on the slow track. Or that they advise the agencies who come to them for advice to act that way.

But that might be your takeaway from a remarkable 10-minute-21-second video of Marc Rylander, director of communications for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, talking to a crowd at an open government seminar put on by the AG’s office in San Marcos last month.

Rylander seems to be joking at the beginning of the video, but he’s persistent — what communications pros call “on message” — for the whole time. That message? He doesn’t trust the news media, and you shouldn’t, either.

 

Tue
06
Feb
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Why I voted to release the Nunes memo

By WILL HURD

In 1885, Woodrow Wilson wrote in his treatise “Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics” that “the informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.”

I voted to release the Nunes memo because, like Wilson, I believe that the duty to inform the American public is one of my biggest responsibilities as an elected representative in our democratic republic.

This is in accordance with the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, which directed House and Senate committees to “exercise continuous watchfulness” over executive-branch programs.

 

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Tue
06
Feb
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Straus: Audit reveals need for stronger oversight at state agency

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — House Speaker Joe Straus on Jan. 31 said a new state audit raises questions about the management of the state Health and Human Services Commission and illustrates the need for legislative hearings.

A report released last week by the State Auditor’s Office found that HHSC allowed Superior Health Plan Inc. to report approximately $29.6 million in bonus and incentive payments paid to affiliates’ employees, even though those payments were not allowed under the state’s contract with Superior. The state agency also approved Superior’s request to report affiliate profits as costs without following the approval process contained in the state’s contract with Superior.

Tue
30
Jan
Edgar's picture

Texas’ most persistent policy problem

By  ross ramsey

You can’t untangle school finance in Texas unless you do one of three politically dangerous things: • Cut spending on public education. • Raise local property taxes to keep up with growth and rising costs. • Raise state spending (and state taxes) to keep up with costs while keeping local property taxes down. State lawmakers cut spending in 2011.

 

Texans didn’t like it much, and the state has, to this day, never recovered the even balance of state and local spending it had set just five years before those cuts. High and rising property taxes have become — for understandable reasons — a major concern for voters and, in turn, for the people who rely on voter favor to stay in office.

 

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Tue
30
Jan
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Decrypting crypto currencies: Unraveling the mysteries behind bitcoins

By BBB  Column

The use of crypto currencies to make transactions online has grown in popularity over the past few years, but one has begun to dominate the market — bitcoin. According to Bitcoin.com, there are currently 16.67 million Bitcoins in supply with 12,000 transactions made per hour. Several businesses in major

Texas cities like San Antonio and Austin even accept it. As popular as this new form of currency has become, many are left wondering what it is, how it even works and the risks involved.

 

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Tue
23
Jan
Edgar's picture

NAFTA Fuels the Texas Economy

By WILL HURD

What do you call the facilitation of $2 million of goods and services across our borders every minute? In Texas, we call it NAFTA. In Texas, more than one million jobs, and fourteen million nationwide, depend on trade with Mexico and Canada. Many of these Texas jobs are in the 23rd Congressional District. These jobs feed families in El Paso, San Antonio and everywhere in between. They include manufacturing, logistics, agriculture and energy. They fuel our local economies in West Texas, along the Rio Grande and all the way up I-35’s NAFTA superhighway.

Many folks don’t realize the magnitude of the impact that NAFTA has had on our economy. Since it was signed into law in San Antonio 24 years ago, America’s trade with Mexico and Canada has more than tripled. US-Mexico trade alone increased more than 280 percent between 1993 and 2016.

 

Tue
23
Jan
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Enter the 2018 San Angelo Business Plan Competition

By DAVE ERICKSON

Time is running out for those who wish to enter the 2018 San Angelo Business Plan Competition! The deadline is Monday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. There are cash prizes of $50,000 for first place and $20,000 for second place, plus both first and second place winners receive in-kind services from various local service providers. All that is required to enter Phase I of the competition is a two-page business overview.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage local entrepreneurs to create new ventures or encourage existing businesses to expand their operation.

 

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Tue
16
Jan
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Ladycrats and Republimans

By LEE PITTS

World War III isn't going to be between the United States and Russia or the Mideast, it's going to be between men and women. And it won't be fought with guns and bombs because women are too smart for that. Instead they'll try to starve us to death because they know that although men can feed 300 hundred cows or 50,000 steers every day, we can't even fix our own lunch.

The biggest battles will be fought in Congress and courtrooms, boardrooms and bedrooms and the only political parties will be the Ladycrats and the Republimans. The first volley in this war was fired by Michelle Obama at a Chicago battlefield where she called men "self-righteous" and "entitled." She also said men are babied and women have to protect them.

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