Ed Sterling

AUSTIN - Now consumers have a way to find out if they got all they paid for at the gasoline pump.

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples on July 31 said the Texas Department of Agriculture is posting results of gas pump inspections on its Internet site, [www.tda.state.tx.us]. Click on “public information reports.”

“We want Texans to know our inspectors are on the front lines, ensuring they are receiving what they are paying for,” Staples said.

The agriculture department employs 72 weights and measures inspectors who check more than 65,000 gasoline pumps a year, according to an agency news release.

If an inspector places an “out of order” tag on a pump, the station owner or operator must have the pump repaired by an agriculture department-licensed service company before the pump can be used to sell fuel.

Tested, properly operating pumps get a new seal placed by an agriculture department inspector.

More action on funding veto

The idea of getting Gov. Perry to undo his veto of $154 million, a sizeable yet thin slice from the $151 billion state budget, for community colleges may be gaining momentum.

Forty-seven members of the Texas House of Representatives called on Perry to restore the funding that in 2008-2009 would have been used to pay for employee health insurance at public junior and community college campuses.

Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, one of the 47, went an extra step, asking House Speaker Tom Craddick to “join the call publicly and unequivocally to restore these critically needed funds and correct

Gov. Perry’s unwise decision.”

No word yet from Perry or Craddick, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has already said he wants to get lawmakers and higher education people together and see what can be done to restore the funding.

Dewhurst said he wanted to head off the need for colleges to raise tuition or fees in order to make up for money lost to the veto.

Dewhurst and Craddick are joint chairs of the Legislative Budget Board, a 10-member entity that has budget execution authority and can restore the funding.

The other eight members of the board are Sens. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, John Whitmire, D-Houston, Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; and Reps. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, Fred Hill, R-Richardson and Sylvester Turner, D-Houston.Judge says programs do comply

Senior U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice of Austin ruled July 30 that public school bilingual programs, as currently delivered in Texas, comply with federal law.

The League of United Latin American Citizens and GI Forum in 2006 asked the judge to force the state to improve education programs for limited-English students.

The ruling means those programs need not be upgraded.

Judge Justice also said low test scores and high dropout rates among Hispanics cannot be linked to the state’s bilingual and English as a Second Language programs, the Associated Press reported.Air passenger traffic sets record

The City of Austin reports that June 2007 marked the highest number of passengers in a single month traveling through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The airport broke the 800,000 passenger barrier for the first time, reaching 801,185, a total that is 8 percent greater than the June 2006 passenger count. The previous single month passenger record 781,855, set in May of the current year.GOP picks Heflin for top post

The Texas Republican Party appointed Talmadge Heflin its executive director, replacing Jeff Fisher.Heflin, 67, was a member of the Texas House for 22 years. He lost his Houston-area District 149 seat to Democrat Hubert Vo in 2004.

State to dedicate WWII memorialThe State of Texas will pay official tribute to its citizens who served in World War II with the dedication of the Texas World War II Memorial on the grounds of the Capitol.

The dedication is set for Aug. 15 at 10 a.m.