Governor Perry delivered his State of the State address this week, proposing to consolidate or suspend non-critical state agencies in order to make state government more streamlined and efficient. The governor also outlined his priorities for the 82nd Legislative Session, including balancing the budget without raising taxes, preserving essential services, and strengthening Texas' position as a national economic leader through sound policies. Check out the Governor's entire State of the State address below.
According to Governor Perry, "The Texas arts industry plays an important role in generating and sustaining economic success. They contribute to and express our state’s intriguing culture and heritage. They personify and instill the unique pride common to all Texans, and help cultivate a way of life unlike any other place in the nation."
The video below reveals how the arts community continues to encourage economic growth in a variety of Texas towns, including Amarillo.
Visit the full Texas Tribune article to learn more about other Texas cities featured in "The Art of Economic Development".
Join over 100 groups in supporting Gov. Perry for re-election
HOUSTON – Today Gov. Rick Perry received the endorsement of former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush for the general election. They were joined by representatives from more than 100 organizations and hundreds of leaders who have endorsed Gov. Perry’s re-election, highlighting his diverse, statewide support, which represents millions of Texans.
“Gov. Perry’s leadership and proven track record is an essential component in keeping Texas a national leader in job creation,” said former President George H.W. Bush. “Texas has become a prime example of what happens when you mix fiscal responsibility, strong leadership and a vision of moving a state forward. It is an honor to endorse Gov. Rick Perry for the general election.”
George H.W. Bush was sworn in as president of the United States in January 1989 and served until January 1993. During his term in office, the Cold War ended; the threat of nuclear war was drastically reduced; the Soviet Union ceased to exist, replaced by a democratic Russia with the Baltic States becoming free; the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunified with Eastern Europe; and he put together an unprecedented international coalition to liberate Kuwait.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush is a tireless advocate of volunteerism, helping countless charities and humanitarian causes. Today she and President Bush serve as Co-Chairs of C-Change, an organization that represents more than 150 individuals and groups that fight cancer. She also enjoys reading to children at schools and hospitals across the nation.
“I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush,” said Gov. Perry. “His devotion and leadership, to our country, has brought forth inspiration to us all.”
Gov. Perry’s endorsements highlight the broad-based support he has from diverse groups and industries, ranging from agriculture, health care and retail sales, to construction, law enforcement and education.
In his remarks, Gov. Perry emphasized the creation of 850,000 Texas jobs in the last ten years and the recent drop in the unemployment rate in Texas; leaving the national rate nearly two points above ours. He also touted our state’s low taxes, predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system and education efforts as crucial elements that have helped make it a national leader in exports and Fortune 1000 companies.
We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit http://hq.rickperry.org now, and recruit your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry. Early voting begins on Monday, October 18th!
Join us today, and help us keep our strong momentum going.
Texans for Rick Perry launched a new 30 second ad this week called “Texas.”
The spot highlights Governor Perry's positive message about Texas.
We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit http://hq.rickperry.org now, and recruit your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry.
As the Governor continues traveling all around the state, meeting with Texans from all walks of life, our campaign continues to gain strength. Your enthusiasm and energy is contagious. Join us today, and help us keep the momentum going.
Reps. Leo Berman; Wayne Christian; Rob Eissler; Dan Flynn; Kelly Hancock; Phil King; Tan Parker; and Ken Paxton
As state legislators, we are disappointed that Texas schools will miss out on $830 million in federal funding because of an overt political attempt to embarrass the Texas Legislature and the governor in the form of an amendment inserted into federal law by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin. The Doggett amendment requires the State of Texas to maintain education funding at current levels for each of the next three budget years 2011, 2012 and 2013 to receive the federal dollars under the emergency school aid funding authorized by Congress last month.
The language added by Doggett required the governor to guarantee these levels of funding when he applied for the federal education aid. However, since the Legislature writes the state budget every two years, Gov. Rick Perry was unable to make that guarantee, noting that "surely Congress did not intend to require states to violate their own constitutions and statutes in order for schools to receive this money. I am sworn to uphold state laws and our constitution, which prohibit binding commitments about future budgets or funding levels."
Texas' state budget for 2012 and 2013 will be drafted and voted on by legislators when we convene in Austin in 2011. Perry clearly is unable to guarantee to the federal government that the 82nd Legislature will appropriate certain, specific levels of funding to public education in good faith because the governor does not write the state budget and, in any event, the 2012-13 state budget does not yet exist.
However, Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott wrote the U.S. Department of Education confirming that Texas would be able to "legally make the assurances you are requiring" once the 2012-2013 state budget is enacted next year. Despite those facts and assurances, Texas' application for the federal funding was rejected by the U.S. Department of Education.
Doggett's amendment language imposed requirements on Texas that do not apply to other states. The other 49 states, for example, are only required to guarantee their education funding level for 2011. Singling Texas out for special (and more prohibitive) treatment does not serve the best interests of our students, teachers or schools. It is precisely this type of gross over-reach that has spurred the tea party movement and has driven congressional approval ratings close to an all-time low.
Top Republican leaders are united in their opposition to the Doggett amendment. In addition, Texas' U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn have announced their intention to file legislation overturning the amendment.
Together with our colleagues in the Legislature and Perry, we have a strong record of providing increased funding and other necessary resources to the public school system in Texas. Between 2000 and 2009, state spending on public education increased from $11 billion to $20 billion, an increase that underscores our commitment to public education. It is noteworthy that it was achieved without the federal government attempting to bribe the state to increase its public education appropriations.
The amendment language added by Doggett is just the latest in a line of federal attempts to take control of Texas' public education system. Earlier this year, and with our support, Perry rightly rejected federal "Race to the Top" funds because the Obama administration attached strings that required misguided changes to state education policy.
The U.S. Constitution does not mention education, let alone grant the federal government authority to attempt to gain influence over states' public education systems.
Indeed, even the section of U.S. code that established the U.S. Department of Education clearly states that "the establishment of the Department of Education shall not increase the authority of the Federal Government over education or diminish the responsibility for education which is reserved to the States and the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States."
The Texas Constitution holds that "it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools."
U.S. code and the state constitution are clear: The State of Texas is responsible for its own public education system and the federal government has no basis for attempting to influence or control that system. Congress' misguided attempts to force Texas to violate its constitution to guarantee future funding, or to attach strings to federal education dollars, undermines the spirit and the letter of U.S. and state law.
Members of the Texas Republican delegation, led by Rep. Michael Burgess of Lewisville, introduced legislation today that would repeal an amendment in last month's education jobs bill that set requirements specific to Texas for the funding.
The amendment, crafted by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, says that in order for Texas to receive about $830 million to employ teachers, the governor must commit to maintaining state education fundings at the same level for three years.
Doggett has said the amendment would ensure education money would not be diverted for other uses. Governor Rick Perry said the requirement violates the Texas constitution.
Last week, the Department of Education denied Texas' application for the funds.
Texas Republicans in Washington have spoken up against this amendment before. Last month, all 22 Republicans in the Texas congressional delegation signed a letter asking Nancy Pelosi to strip the Texas-specific language from the bill.
Yesterday, Senators Cornyn and Hutchison introduced legislation in the Senate to repeal the amendment.
"This ridiculous education funding provision, which some have even called 'wacky,' has already prevented Texas schoolchildren and teachers from receiving their fair share of funding," Burgess said in a statement.
"The Doggett language must be repealed so that Texans are provided the same opportunities as residents of every other state," he added.
Perry praised the House and Senate repeal efforts in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
"The repeal legislation is welcome news to Texas' hard working teachers and students, who deserve the federal education dollars that Lloyd Doggett has prevented Texas from receiving," Perry said.
Perry to submit federal application to try to access funding for school teachers
Gov. Rick Perry today sent a letter to school administrators across the state detailing his efforts to try to access the $830 million in federal funds for Texas schools that Lloyd Doggett’s anti-Texas amendment to the federal emergency education jobs bill (H.R. 1586) has jeopardized. Doggett’s amendment requires the governor to make assurances that the Texas Legislature will make specific funding commitments, which is a violation of the Texas Constitution.
“The actions of a Texas congressman, with votes from the congressional majority, make it unlikely for your school to receive these federal funds this year,” Gov. Perry wrote. “I am working with state leaders, educational officials and the U.S. Department of Education to explore every possible avenue to allow hard working Texas teachers to receive these funds.”
Despite the punitive Doggett language, Gov. Perry is committed to continue working with the Department of Education to try to access these dollars for Texas, and therefore intends to apply for the federal funds in a manner consistent with Texas laws and the Texas Constitution.
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas students can now download podcasts, videos and other multimedia lessons directly from iTunes through a new online program aimed at providing free, supplementary coursework that can be accessed anywhere, state officials announced Tuesday.
The Texas Education iTunes U channel allows teachers to upload material from their classes to help students understand new concepts or do more research in a specific subject area. Students and parents can access the material through home or school computers, and those with iPods can download the information to the handheld devices.
The state first met with Apple Inc. about three years ago. The governor’s office and the Texas Education Agency began working on the project in November, finding and culling existing teacher training videos and programs for students, said agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe.
“A lot of that content may already be out there, but it’s either overlooked or hard to access,” Gov. Rick Perry told about 50 students at Sharpstown High School in southwest Houston. “This will really consolidate that information.”