Gov. Perry Outlines Legislative Priorities at Greater Houston Partnership
Gov. Rick Perry visited the Greater Houston Partnership, where he discussed the state of the state and his priorities for the 83rd Legislative Session, particularly his proposals for tax relief, education and infrastructure improvement.
"Our bank balance is healthy, our economy is growing and our future is limitless," Gov. Perry said. "We remain the nation's prime destination for employers and job-seekers alike, and across the state - in classrooms, on assembly lines, in laboratories, on farms and in office buildings - hard-working Texans are today turning their dreams into realities."
The governor has called on lawmakers to provide at least $1.8 billion in tax relief, and pass a constitutional amendment to allow the state to give money directly back to taxpayers. He also addressed Texas' extraordinary population and economic growth by urging the use of $3.7 billion from the Rainy Day Fund for a one-time investment in water and transportation infrastructure programs. In addition, he called upon the Legislature to once and for all end diversions from the State Highway Fund, freeing up an additional $1.3 billion of ongoing biennial funding available for transportation.
In highlighting the state's education needs, Gov. Perry called for more school choice in public education. This includes the creation of more public charter schools, scholarship programs, and increased flexibility in choosing academic courses. To address the dynamic and growing area of South Texas, the governor also called on lawmakers to provide the region access to the Permanent University Fund. This paired with efforts to make higher education more accessible and affordable to all Texans - such as providing more $10,000 degree options, a four-year tuition freeze and tying a minimum of ten percent of a school's state funding to the number of students it graduates - all represent an investment in our state's skilled workforce and our future.
The governor continues to emphasize the elements of the Texas Budget Compact, such as truing up the budget and moving away from budget gimmicks; implementing a stronger constitutional limit on spending that does not exceed the combined rate of inflation and population growth; scrubbing the budget for any waste and redundancies; ending the practice of using dedicated funds and specific fees for anything other than the purpose for which they were intended; and maintaining a strong Rainy Day Fund that includes not tapping the fund to meet ongoing expenses.
Governor's Initiatives »