This afternoon Texas Governor Rick Perry took time to speak with media and bloggers in a conference call where he discussed the accomplishments of the 82nd Legislature, and outlined what still needs to be done, especially since Democrats attempted a 2009 redux in killing legislation with delay tactics and filibuster.
Among accomplishments, the Governor listed passing a budget that cuts spending and keeps Texas' status as a "low-tax haven," and still keeps $6 billion in the 'rainy-day-fund' for inevitable future challenges. In addition, he noted the legislature had strengthened eminent domain policy, required abortionists to show women an ultrasound, and passed an important 'Loser Pays' bill.
Regarding the issue of Health Care Compacts, Perry said he did expect those proposals, which create alternatives to Obamacare, to be taken up in the special session.
In answering a question about the redistricting legislation for the State Board of Education, the Governor stated, "I was not particularly happy with that piece of legislation." Noting that there seemed to have been some gerrymandering against some of the more Conservative members of the SBOE, he preferred to allow the legislature handle the issue. Perry did not sign, but did not veto the SBOE map.
Although he did not mention Congressional re-districting in his special session proclamation, the Governor noted that he had the prerogative to add issues to a call. He said the legislature should and will take it up. "Stay tuned" he said.
When asked about failed Texas legislation to prevent TSA 'groping-without-cause,' Perry said that some alternate proposals were being studied, but were not yet ready for official consideration. The federal government has threatened to prohibit air travel to Texas destinations if such legislation is enforced, yet another example of what seems to be a Federal war against the Lone Star State.
Perry indicated that while he is glad the Texas Constitution limited the length of the legislative session, there are still some things that must be addressed. Conservatives are optimistic about the special session, and hope to revive several items including a ban on so-called Sanctuary Cities. There are also indications that the June session won't be the end either; some are predicting a second special session in July.
Sounds like a politically interesting summer after all.