From the Capitol

Bashing Business 101

May 23, 2008

Chicago Daily Observer

John Tillman, Illinois Policy Institute

...Contrast this sentiment with that of Governor Rick Perry in Texas. At a speech I attended in Austin this past January, Governor Perry made it clear where he stood. He stood on the border of Texas with open arms, a hearty handshake and a spirited welcome. In remarks directed at Texas legislators, he said that if they sent him legislation that would make Texas less competitive with the other 49 states, he would veto it. But, if they sent him legislation that would make Texas more competitive in attracting and retaining businesses for Texas, he would sign it.

In Texas the welcome mat is out. In Springfield the baseball bat is out. Business leaders had better duck, or get out of Illinois...

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Delisi and Meadows Appointed to Texas Transportation Commission

April 30, 2008

Perry Names Delisi as Chair

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today appointed Deirdre Delisi of Austin and William Meadows of Fort Worth to the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees the Texas Department of Transportation. Their terms expire Feb.1, 2013.

"Texas faces serious challenges in providing a transportation infrastructure that will sustain our state’s rapid pace of population and trade growth," said Gov. Perry. "Both Deirdre and Bill have the integrity and expertise to ensure that these needs are met efficiently and responsibly. I am confident their contribution to the commission will maintain the momentum of the late Commissioner Ric Williamson’s pioneering vision, and secure comprehensive transportation solutions that will reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and keep our state’s doors open to economic growth and success."

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Gov. Perry Joins 5,600 Texans to Run 5th Annual Texas Round-Up

April 26, 2008

Annual fitness festival also hosts 2008 USA Track and Field Masters 10K Championships

AUSTIN– Gov. Rick Perry today joined 5,600 Texans and 80 track and field champions to run the 5th Annual Texas Round-Up. Thousands took part in the annual fitness festival’s 5K, 10K, family mile walk and fun zone.

"Working regular exercise and a balanced diet into daily life can yield significant benefits not only for individuals, but the state too," Perry said. "Obesity and obesity-related illnesses affect too many Texans. Initiatives like the Texas Round-Up encourage Texans to shed lethargic lifestyles by offering a fun, family-friendly venue to begin, or continue, a health lifestyle routine."

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Gov. Perry Seeks Relief From Skyrocketing Food Prices

April 25, 2008

Requests Federal RFS Mandate Waiver

AUSTIN – Seeking immediate relief from skyrocketing food costs, Gov. Rick Perry today asked the federal government for a 50 percent waiver from the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) mandate for ethanol produced from grain.

"We appreciate the good intentions behind the push for renewable fuels. In fact we’re diversifying our state’s energy portfolio at a rapid rate, but this misguided mandate is significantly affecting Texans’ family food bill," said Gov. Perry. "There are multiple factors contributing to our skyrocketing grocery prices, but a waiver of RFS levels is the best, quickest way to reduce those costs before permanent damage is done."

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Gov. Perry Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Memory of Lena Guerrero

April 24, 2008

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today directed that flags be flown at half-staff in memory of former Texas Railroad Commissioner and State Representative Lena Guerrero. He also issued the following statement:

"Lena Guerrero was a bright, passionate woman who worked hard to represent the interests of her constituents both as a representative and as Railroad Commissioner. We served together in the Texas House of Representatives, and I came to know and admire her both as an esteemed colleague and a friend. Her fellow Democrats were surprised at our friendship and her endorsement of my candidacy, but she was the sort of person who placed loyalty and principle ahead of politics."

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Texas Holds 'Em

May 5, 2008

National Review

Kevin D. Williamson

How Lone Star Republicans stopped abusive medical-malpractice lawsuits

That high lonesome sound you hear ululating over the wide-open Texas prairies isn’t coyotes — it’s hungry trial lawyers, forced to subsist on 40 percent of a litigation pie that has gotten a little bit smaller of late.

When Texas Republicans finally took control of the Texas legislature in 2003, tort reform was among their cardinal concerns. But legislation was only part of the fight. Several bare-knuckled political battles, the constitutional amendment known as Proposition 12, and five Rick Perry appointments to the state supreme court have entrenched a battery of reforms, including a cap on non-economic damages in medical-malpractice cases and several measures designed to keep frivolous lawsuits out of court in the first place. The guys in the ambulances are raising a joyful noise; the guys chasing behind are raising hell.

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Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on U.S. Supreme Court Lethal Injection Ruling

April 16, 2008

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the United States Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the method of lethal injection in capital punishments:

"Texas is a law and order state, and I stand by the majority of Texans who support the death penalty as it is written in Texas law. It is an appropriate response for the most violent crimes against our fellow human beings."

"Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court affirms the method the State of Texas has in place to carry out the death penalty."

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Gov. Perry Names Langwell Texas Round-Up 2008 Fit Texan

April 16, 2008

Also Names Recipients of ‘Fit Kid’ and ‘Fit Family’ Awards

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today named Norman Langwell Jr. of Huntsville as the 2008 Texas Round-Up Fit Texan. He also named 9-year-old Kolton Allen of Lexington as Fit Kid and the Gonzales- Paul family of San Antonio as Fit Family.

"I encourage all Texans to use these Texans’ stories as inspiration to take steps toward fitness, incorporating healthy changes in their daily routine that will help improve our quality of life and ensure long-term health," Gov. Perry said.

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Gov. Perry Announces TEF Investment in Solar Power Company

April 15, 2008

HelioVolt to create 160 high-wage jobs in Central Texas

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the state will invest $1 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) in HelioVolt Corp. of Austin for the construction of a 125,000 square foot manufacturing facility and development space to test and produce the company’s thin-film solar power cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. The deal will create nearly 160 jobs and $62 million in capital investment.

"Texas is the place to grow a business thanks to our mix of a reasonable regulatory environment, an educated workforce, and a variety of economic incentives that bolster our stature in the global marketplace," said Gov. Perry. "HelioVolt’s investment in this alternative energy technology will not only create more jobs in Texas but also help our state remain at the forefront of the renewable energy market. These advances will also help decrease our dependence on foreign energy sources."

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Gov. Perry Establishes Science and Technology Champions Academy

April 12, 2008

Provides Opportunity and Incentive to Pursue Studies in Critical Fields

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the establishment of the Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy for winners of the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Winners will receive full scholarships to attend the four and a half day-long residential academy, to be held at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) this summer.

"Science, math, engineering and technology represent the foundation for the majority of tomorrow’s high-demand, high-skill jobs," said Gov. Perry. "This new science and technology academy will allow students to further their studies in the critical fields of tomorrow, enabling Texas to remain competitive in a global marketplace."

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