The Austin Chronicle

Bill of the Week

By Richard Whittaker, April 29, 2011, News

Filed: April 21. Author: Gov. Rick Perry.

After Texas has lost nearly two million acres and the lives of two firefighters to wildfires this year, it would seem that Gov. Rick Perry might get proactive on the issue. Six days after increasing the number of counties classified as at-risk, Perry announced that he wanted Texans to come together and spend Easter weekend praying for rain. Sidestepping any thorny theological questions or that whole separation of church and state thing, Perry declared that "it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought." Sure. Why not? After all, this came in the same week that a UT/Texas Tribune poll found that 30% of all Texans believe that humans and dinosaurs walked the Earth at the same time. What makes this more galling is that both the House and Senate draft budgets propose cuts to the Texas Forest Service Volun­teer Fire Department Assistance Pro­grams, a major funding source for many of the volunteer fire departments currently fighting the wildfires. So now it seems it's easier to ask for divine intervention to make it rain than to get Perry to tap the Rainy Day Fund. To quote Daily Kos contributing Editor David Waldman, "If you're thinking of pissing on Rick Perry's leg, please do feel free to tell him it's raining."

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