Last night in The Woodlands, Governor Perry addressed the Texas Home School Coalition. Perry has always been a champion of the rights of home educators to teach their children. Tim Lambert, President of THSC, called Perry the "best friend that home schoolers have ever had in the Governor's mansion."
CORPUS CHRISTI – Gov. Rick Perry today ceremonially signed Senate bills (SB) 297 and 93, which significantly strengthens Texas’ commitment to veterans and their families by enhancing their ability to apply their hard-earned educational benefits at Texas colleges and universities.
“Military service places unique demands on the men and women in uniform and their families, and as home to the second most active military duty families in the nation, Texas owes it to them to support their families and welcome them honorably when they return,” Gov. Perry said. “Last year, I called on the legislature to extend in-state tuition rates to eligible veterans, and Senate Bill 297 not only grants that request, but also extends that benefit to the spouses and children of our eligible veterans, and waives tuition completely for the children of Texas residents who have been deployed.”
SB 297 provides in-state tuition for veterans who are eligible for federal education benefits, and to their spouses and children. The bill also provides a tuition exemption for dependent children whose parent is a Texas resident deployed on active duty overseas.
SB 93 makes three important changes to the Hazelwood Act, which allows eligible veterans, their children and spouses to receive an exemption from the payment of tuition and most fees for up to for up to 150 semester credit hours of state-supported classes at colleges and universities:
- Allows the spouse of a service member who was killed in action, died while in service, is missing in action, whose death was caused by a service-connected illness or injury, or who became totally disabled for employment purposes as a result of a service-related injury to claim the Hazelwood Exemption.
- Creates the Hazelwood Legacy Act, requiring the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to allow veterans who are eligible for the Hazelwood Exemption to waive their rights to any unused portion of their maximum hours and transfer it to their child.
- Clarifies eligibility criteria for the Hazelwood Exemption.
It took a lot of people to turn the dream of making the University of Houston-Victoria into a four-year university into a reality. On Thursday, all those people, from the students who campaigned to the Texas governor who signed it into law, gathered at the university to celebrate a year of hard work.
"This is a milestone for this university system," Gov. Rick Perry said at the event, which had a standing-room-only crowd. "UHV never did buy into that old adage of starting at the bottom and working your way up. You all started this darn near the top and said 'OK, let's go from here.' That's the attitude you had and it's a great attitude to have. The wheels are now turning."
Perry was at the university for the ceremonial signing of House Bill 1056, which allows the university to admit freshmen and sophomores. The legislation was formally signed by the governor on June 19.
"This is a glorious day, not just for the University of Houston-Victoria, but for the University of Houston system, the city of Victoria and the state of Texas," Chancellor of University of Houston System Renu Khator, said. "We have to be thankful for our leadership in Austin. And, of course, for the one person who had the last word and with one stoke on June 19 made a dream into a reality."
Also on hand at the event were Rep. Geanie Morrison, the author of the bill, Sen. Glenn Hegar and UHV president Tim Hudson, who all spoke, as well as many other university and community leaders.
"This expansion couldn't have come at a better time or a better place," Perry added. "It's clear the folks in Victoria understand the strong impact education has on the economy, the impact it has on the community, the impact it has on the lives of these young men and women who have chosen to come here and the way they will impact the future of this state."
CORPUS CHRISTI — The efforts and struggles the American GI Forum faced in its early years forever changed the way the country treated its veterans, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday at the organization’s convention luncheon.
“The GI Forum knocked down barriers of discrimination in our country and our country is better for it,” Perry said. “Life for our service members, no matter what their background, is better, too.”
Perry, himself an Air Force veteran, addressed a crowd of more than 200 local dignitaries and GI Forum delegates from across the country at the GI Forum’s 61st National Convention.
The American GI Forum was founded in 1948 by local physician and civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia as a means of organizing Hispanic World War II veterans who returned from war and encountered discrimination.
Perry praised Garcia and his efforts to fight prejudice.
One way the state has recognized Garcia’s efforts was to pass legislation establishing a state day of recognition honoring Garcia every third Wednesday in September.
“Texas schoolchildren will be reminded of his works, his integrity, his fight for equality. And it reminds all us to continue his fight everyday,” Perry said.
He thanked veterans at the luncheon for their service, saying military families live unique lives and are forever bonded in kinship.
“He hit on all the key points we wanted to hear as veterans and as a community,” said Tony Jimenez Jr., a member of the local Richard Rocco Chapter of the American GI Forum.
For his support of veterans and the GI Forum, Perry was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the GI Forum.
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign launched a new fundraising strategy Tuesday by urging supporters to participate in an online challenge aimed at raising grassroots donations and expanding Perry’s network of supporters to "new heights."
"We hope to reach as many people as we can," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in a e-mail. "This has never been done in Texas before, so we don’t [know] exactly what to expect."
But the state’s longest-serving governor, who is facing U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican gubernatorial race, undoubtedly hopes to repeat the success of other politicians who have raised millions through online donations, notably President Barack Obama and Republican Rep. Ron Paul.
Supporters have four days to raise $20 or more from 10 other people on personal fundraising pages. "Every participant who achieves this feat will receive one of the first Governor Perry 2010 campaign t-shirts," the online message states.
The contest, called "4 More Years in 2010," began at noon Tuesday and will end Saturday. The site also included forms for creating online fundraising pages.