Gov. Perry Calls for Expanded Lawsuit Reform in Texas
Gov. Rick Perry today urged lawmakers to maintain the principles that have helped Texas' economy lead the nation, and to build upon previous improvements to the state's legal system by further expanding lawsuit reform. The governor gave the keynote address at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's (TPPF) 9th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature.
"As the ripple effects of the recession began to reach Texas, our sound policies helped us rebound quicker than other states and are now helping us lead the way to recovery," Gov. Perry said. "We must work together this session to strengthen the basic economic building blocks that have drawn new employers and jobs to our state to ensure Texas remains the best state to do business and raise a family."
Balancing the budget while strengthening Texas' job-friendly climate - based on low taxes, predictable regulations, a fair legal system and world-class workforce - is a top priority for the governor and vital to the future of the state.
To keep Texas' legal system accountable, transparent and efficient, and maintain Texas' competitive economic position, the governor noted the need to expand lawsuit reform in Texas by:
• Creating an early dismissal option for frivolous lawsuits;
• Ensuring victims of frivolous lawsuits do not bear the financial burden of defending themselves through the creation of a "loser pays" system;
• Ensuring new laws cannot create causes of action unless expressly established by the Legislature; and
• Setting up expedited trials and limited discovery for lawsuits with claims between $10,000 and $100,000.
Gov. Perry also reiterated his call for legislators to use available state revenue and thoroughly review all agencies and programs in order to balance the budget without raising taxes. To ensure state agencies continue to use taxpayer dollars prudently, the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker have already directed state agencies to identify savings of 5 percent in the 2010-2011 biennium, an additional 2.5 percent for the 2011 fiscal year, and 10 percent for the 2012-2013 biennium.
TPPF is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that promotes and defends liberty, personal responsibility and free enterprise in Texas by providing academically sound research to lawmakers and policymakers. The orientation brings together lawmakers, policy experts and interested citizens from across the political spectrum to discuss the most critical issues facing the state.
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