Naked City

Beyond City Limits

Gov. Rick Perry delivered his State of the State address to the Legislature Tuesday, and there were no surprises. Perry described the state of the state as "strong" but said he is concerned by "the state of the government" -- because it has not set clear spending priorities. His are "education, security, and fiscal responsibility." Perry said government should follow the example of Texas families in hard times, and that may mean "no cable TV, more meals at home, or bringing lunch to work." The governor insisted the budget can be balanced without raising taxes, although he did propose closing the "Delaware loophole" for corporate partnerships and requiring businesses to fully render their property to taxing districts (currently there is no penalty for failing to do so). He also endorsed limits on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and proposed to "allow parents of children stuck in substandard schools to choose the best school for their child ... public, private, or religious," although he coyly refrained from mentioning the word "vouchers." -- M.K.

On Feb. 10 state Rep. Terry Keel, R-Austin, filed a bill that would prohibit the governor from giving state grant money to multijurisdictional drug task-force operations like the now-defunct Capital Area Narcotics Task Force. These operations have come under increasing fire for their lack of training and supervision -- among other allegations. In Central Texas alone, the CANTF was at the center of two ill-planned warrant raids that ended in killings, along with an embarrassing raid in Spicewood where task-force members mistook a stand of ragweed for marijuana. Similar snafus are common throughout the state; the Panhandle-area task force and one of its rogue freelance cops brought you the controversial 1999 drug sting in Tulia that saw 10% of the town's black population thrown behind bars. -- J.S.

Earlier this week, Texans for Peace publicly invited Texans in the U.S. Congress on a five-day trip to Iraq to visit with doctors, business owners, and elected officials and gain firsthand knowledge of the next country the U.S. government intends to destroy. Several of Texas' 32 House members have already responded to the offer, says TFP founder Charlie Jackson, though he wouldn't say who seems most likely to accept. Among reps who have expressed interest are those who have already shown opposition to the war, he said. Today (Thursday) Jackson is in Washington to visit delegation members and discuss the proposed trip, among other things. -- Lauri Apple

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Mike Clark-Madison
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
At some point Austin history will stop looping upon itself. Until next time …

March 17, 2023

Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
It’s going to be sad, so sad, when Mayor Pete’s money comes if Austin’s not ready

March 10, 2023

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle