Alright, so this has me a little troubled. As most of you know, June 1 is Monday and, afterward, the Texas Legislature will adjourn for another year and a half. It’s not the most ideal system, but it’s what we have, so we make the most of it.
So many bills are hanging in the balance, including those regarding eminent domain, $5 billion for highway construction bonds, and the perpetually-controversial voter I.D. In short, there’s a lot of pressure on the House and Senate to get things done in these final days. Speaker Straus is providing the best leadership he can on the House side, but it’s his first session at the post, so expectations might be somewhat lower than a speaker with several sessions at the helm.
Leadership, one would thing, should be coming from the top down. Obviously Governor Perry has been involved in pushing some measures forward, but it is slightly troubling to me that he left town Thursday night to travel to Houston to attend a fundraiser for Rep. Mike McCaul. I understand that big names like Gov. Perry can attract more donors to help the party, but I just feel like there are bigger fish to fry at the moment.
While there, Perry granted fellow-attendee Rush Limbaugh with “honorary Texan” status. Cool, I guess. Rush has said recently that he’s thinking of buying a house in Texas because of our great tax system. Here’s a picture of the two of them doing the now-famous fist bump gesture:
Don’t get me wrong–we need cheerleaders for the party. Republicans are facing an uphill climb in terms of national popularity. But won’t we be more effective by getting things done in our state legislatures and in Congress?
My concern is this: last Sunday, the Houston Chronicle’s R.G. Ratcliffe wrote a story detailing the deteriorating relationship between Perry and the legislature. Lawmakers are concerned his actions are triggered by an upcoming battle with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for the governor’s mansion, and not based on sound policy.
Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, said he does not believe there is a “united message” being sent to Perry, just “subplots.” Carona said Perry has been in office long enough now that lawmakers do not just accept his policies without scrutiny.
So my request is this: let’s buckle down and get some things done for the state of Texas in these final days. Texans deserve that.