Vol 31, Issue 27 Print Issue

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

President Barack Obama spent two days in Texas but didn't visit the border despite pointed calls from Republicans (and at least one Democrat) to do so. Instead, he had a brief meeting with Gov. Rick Perry in Dallas on border issues and took part in a roundtable discussion on the topic.

Obama's visit also became a point of discussion in the governor's race, with Democrat Wendy Davis pushing again for Obama to visit the border and Republican Greg Abbott urging Obama to look to Texas for tips on how to get the economy moving again.

The price tag for caring for the unaccompanied minors streaming across the border will cost the city of McAllen and nearby jurisdictions more than $1.1 million this year. McAllen's mayor said he was confident the feds would eventually pick up the tab. A $3.7 billion proposal to send emergency funding to the border is before Congress right now.

Bill Powers submitted his resignation as president of University of Texas at Austin, but he won't be cleaning out his desk anytime soon. He leaves in June. University system Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa had issued an ultimatum — resign or be fired.

Nearly four years after BP awarded Gov. Rick Perry's office $5 million for recovery projects in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, most of the money remains unspent. Now, the company is asking Texas for its money back.

More than 20 years after the Texas Legislature passed a law establishing a 24-hour work safety hotline, real people are answering the telephone calls around the clock.

Travis County has embarked on a project to develop its own voting machine technology. The move is a break from the common practice of buying machines from an outside vendor. Created around open-source technology, the new system would also generate a paper receipt for voters to confirm their vote afterward.

Texas-based payday lender ACE Cash Express has agreed to pay $10 million to settle allegations by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it used illegal tactics to push borrowers into a cycle of debt.

The former Burleson district attorney who sent Anthony Graves to death row in 1994 will now face a formal hearing on allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin and BP America are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Political People and their Moves

Dora G. Alcala of Del Rio was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for a term to expire Aug. 31, 2015.

William L. Kibler was confirmed as president of Sul Ross State University. He comes to the school from Mississippi State University, where he served as vice president for student affairs.

Erica Sackin has been hired as Battleground Texas' first communications director. She comes to the group from the technology company Mozilla, where she was senior communications director. She also worked on the Obama 2012 re-election campaign, where she led blog and progressive media outreach. Ellis Brachman, meanwhile, is ending his duties as spokesman for the group.

Brian D. Sweany was named editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly magazine, where he succeeds Jake Silverstein. Sweany began at the magazine as an intern in 1996 and, most recently, was the magazine's senior executive editor.

John Paul Urban, a former staffer for state Rep. Wayne Smith and former government relations director for the Public Utility Commission, has joined the legislative affairs team at NRG.

Annie Spilman has joinned NFIB/Texas as its new legislative director for its Austin office. She arrives from the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, where she was its governmental affairs manager.

Becky Motal, the former Lower Colorado River Authority general manager, has a new job title — president and chairman of the Association of Women in Energy.

The Texas Retailers Association announced two recent hires:

•    Jim Sheer began his duties as vice president of governrment relations on July 1. Sheer has more than a decade of experience at the Capitol where he has served as chief of staff and political action committee manager.

•    David Ford began his duties as director of membership development on May 12. He comes to TRA from the Associated Builders and Contractors Association-Central Texas Chapter where he was pesident and CEO for 10 years.

Deaths: Diana Poteat Stallings Hobby, 83, philanthropist, academic and wife of former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby.

Disclosure: NRG and the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. The Hobby Family Foundation is a major donor to the Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.