Plans to create a gold depository in Texas are moving slower than anticipated.
State officials originally planned to announce the winning proposal to create a Texas Bullion Depository last year and hoped to have work on it under way by Dec. 1.
Now, more than two months after the original deadline, which officials say was never set in stone, there’s still no news yet on where a depository will be located — or who will build and run it.
“Our team is working to get this done as soon as possible,” said Chris Bryan, a spokesman with the Texas Comptroller’s Office. “They are committed to providing Texans with a secure gold bullion depository.
“But as with anything this complex, and any issue this important, experts in our office know it’s better to be right than fast.”
The depository, approved by lawmakers in 2015, is geared to give Texans a place to store their gold and other precious metals.
But it’s not just for residents. Financial institutions, cities, school districts, businesses, individuals and countries could do business there as well. And storage fees will be charged to generate revenue for the state.
Officials have said the depository could be in one location, or multiple sites throughout the state, depending on which proposal the Texas Comptroller’s task force, which will make the selection, prefers.
Last year, state officials laid out criteria for a Texas depository, noting that any company wanting to create and manage it must shoulder all the upfront costs and be reimbursed down the road once storage fees and other payments begin.
Due to ongoing negotiations, officials won’t say how many responses, or proposals, they received to develop the depository. But they say there were “a number” of them.
Patriots make a difference?
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz likens this year’s Super Bowl to last year’s presidential election.
He said many wrote off New England for much of the game, just as they did Republican Donald Trump during much of the presidential campaign last year.
“By halftime, it seemed like every reporter on TV was saying there was no way on earth — it was impossible — for the Falcons to lose, kind of like Hillary Clinton,” he said during a recent Southwest Agriculture Issues Summit in Fort Worth. “Then a whole bunch of Patriots rose up and changed that.”
Cruz said he attended the game in Houston and actually watched some of it with Vice President Mike Pence.
“It’s the first time I’ve been with the vice president to a Lady Gaga concert,” he said, later noting that “these are remarkable times.”
U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, has a new chief of staff.
Granger has hired Eric Wiese, a retired Navy Captain and former Pentagon employee, to work in her office.
“Capt. Eric Wiese brings more than 20 years of leadership as a Navy officer, including serving as the deputy director of the Navy Appropriations Liaison Office at the Pentagon,” Granger said.
“He has vast experience in forming legislative strategy and in appropriations work. He will be invaluable to my work as we look to increase our investment in defense after years of decline during the Obama administration.”