Legislation aimed at reducing damage to cotton crops by limiting white-tailed deer in fields was signed into law in May by Gov. Rick Perry. Since becoming law, the measure has already proven to be a win-win for both farmers and ranchers in the Concho Valley, said state Rep. Drew Darby.
The new law allows the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to immediately issue permits to control the deer. The deer can be harvested year-round, provided the carcass is not wasted. The farmer must work with meat processors to save the venison. In turn, the meat is donated to Meals for the Elderly and other charities.
“Deer were costing farmers a lot of money. They could not take care of the problem because of our game laws. It made sense to me that with the right set of rules and common sense, we could bring some order to the problem,” Darby told me. “The farmers’ cash crop is his cotton. The ranchers’ cash crop is the deer.”
What has happened is the farmer, who has fields neighboring a rancher’s pasture, have both come to terms by sharing the cost of building high fences, thereby keeping the deer in the pastures and not in the cotton patch, he said.
In Texas, business is booming. In 2008, 70 percent of all jobs created in the United States were created in Texas. That same year, Texas was named America's Top State for Business in CNBC's second annual study that scored states on 40 different competitiveness measures. Texas now surpasses New York as home to the most Fortune 500 companies, and Texas dominated Forbes' "Best Cities for Jobs in 2008" list with five cities in the top 20.
While the nation's unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, the rate in Texas is 7.5 percent. And while our state faces a $9 billion deficit, Texas has a $9 billion surplus. Instead of raising taxes, Texas is cutting them.
How did they do it? Gov. Rick Perry says holding the line on taxes, having a reasonable regulatory structure and offering economic development incentives such as the Texas Enterprise Fund and Texas Emerging Technology Fund have attracted hundreds of employers to Texas. He notes that 7,300 new jobs were created in Texas in November 2008 alone.
"We set the state up for it back in 2003," says Perry, "when we came in here and had about a $10 billion budget deficit. We were able to cut that deficit without raising taxes, passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation, and people paid attention."
For a model of how to turn California's job prospects around, the candidate admires, of all places, the Lone Star State.
“Texas is not a perfect state by any means,” she began.
Nevertheless, Gov. Rick Perry has blazed a path she'd like to follow. (Presumably, success, not secession, is the end game.)
Perry slashed the $80 billion Texas budget by $10 billion, Whitman reported, and plowed the savings into lower corporate tax rates. He streamlined regulations so that ventures that once required 12 permits now require two.
Then Whitman dropped a statistical bomb.
In 2008, 52 percent of all new jobs created in the United States were created in Texas, she said, eliciting envious murmurs.
“We know exactly what to do,” Whitman said. “If you need any more proof, go to Texas.”
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.