Monday, June 10, 2013

Veto these Bills: An Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry

The Honorable Rick Perry

Dear Mr. Governor,

During its general session, the 83rd Texas Legislature passed a lot of terrible legislation.  It deserves to be vetoed in a reprise of your so-called 2001 "Father's Day Massacre."  The following list is incomplete, but it would be a darn good place to start:
  • SB 1 AND HB 1025 -- These disgraceful bills increase Texas' state spending by 26% over 2011 levels that were already too high.  This budget would alter the trajectory of state spending with disastrous but predictable consequences.  As the Wall St. Journal explains: "nearly everything from mental health to family planning to Medicaid...won fat funding increases....The danger is that Texas will repeat the fiscal mistake that California has made repeatedly: spend during the glory days and, once the economy slows, raise taxes to cover the deficit. The Texas oil patch is riding high on $95 a barrel oil and a doubling in production in four years. But Texans shouldn’t forget the lesson of the 1980s and late 1990s that oil prices are volatile and a decline can be painful and prolonged."
  • HB 5 -- This bill would gut accountability in Texas public schools that have proven they cannot be trusted.  Standardized testing is imprecise, but it holds big education somewhat accountable.  Until Texas structurally reforms education, end of course testing the least bad way to keep the current system under control.
  • SB 15 -- Cahnman's Musings wrote you about this bill last month.  It takes the authority to appoint University regents out of the hands of an elected Governor and places it in the hands of University bureaucrats.  Similar to HB 5, the status quo isn't great, but it's better than the proposed alternative.
  • HB 1675 -- "Educational Service Centers" are a bureaucratic sinkhole that launched and promoted CSCOPE.  Under current law, those ESC's are scheduled to appear before Texas' Sunset Commission in 2015; HB 1675 would punt this appearance to 2019.  Given everything we've learned about the ESC's during the past few months, this type of accountability cannot come soon enough.
  • SB 1730 -- This bill creates places tolls on existing roads without corresponding reforms to existing transportation authorities.
The 83rd Texas Legislature passed A LOT of bad legislation during its general session.  Mr. Governor, the ball is in your court.  We urge you to act.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX
June 10th, 2013


Contact Governor Perry:

Phone: (512) 463-2000
Twitter: @GovernorPerry


Update: Governor Perry signed HB 5 on Monday afternoon.

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