Perry Issues Emergency Items Request

Governor asks lege for more cash for hurricane insurance, state schools, and high-tech detectors for police

Gov. Perry: Setting his budget priorities while the budget gets tighter
Gov. Perry: Setting his budget priorities while the budget gets tighter

So is the state of Texas out of cash or not? While Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus are asking state agencies to slash their budgets, Gov. Rick Perry is already asking the lege for cash under his emergency items request.

In a belated fashion (if Hurricane Ike wasn't cause for a special legislative session, what ever can be?), Perry has decided that it's time to implement hurricane reform, requesting supplemental appropriations for the hurricane repairs and legislation to fix the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (the fall-back fund for homeowners when no-one else will insure them.) The question raised is why that had to wait until after the devastating hurricane season of 2008. Possibly something to do with Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, threatened to fillibuster proposed reforms in 2007.

Perry also wants legislation to fix State Schools. So what was the clue, the three Justice Department reports condemning them for rampant abuse problems, or the 53 preventable deaths amongst residents in one year?

Civil rights groups will probably also raise an eyebrow at "funds to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the purchase and use of screening and detection devices for contraband and personnel, as well as comprehensive security equipment."

See the full press release after the break.

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today declared emergency items for the 2009 legislative session. The emergency designation will allow lawmakers to begin considering these issues in the initial 30 days of the legislative session.

The emergency items include:
– Legislation to provide supplemental appropriations to state agencies and institutions related to hurricane response and recovery associated with the hurricanes of 2008;
– Legislation to assist public and private entities with recovery from the hurricanes of 2008;
– Legislation to reform the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) and legislation to fund the Catastrophe Reserve Trust Fund related to TWIA;
– Legislation to improve state schools and centers operated by the state of Texas; and
– Legislation to appropriate funds to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the purchase and use of screening and detection devices for contraband and personnel, as well as comprehensive security equipment.

“By designating these items emergencies, lawmakers are able to begin considering these important issues relating to the safety, security, recovery of our state,” Gov. Perry said.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Governor's Office, State Budget, Hurricane Ike, State Schools, Rick Perry, David Dewhurst, Joe Straus, Emergency Items Request

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