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Posts Tagged ‘Perry

NPT Capitol: Straus on Voter ID, special session and being speaker again

House Speaker Joe Straus held an impromptu press conference this afternoon, the same day he filed the necessary paperwork in order to be Speaker next session.

So far no one else has filed for Speaker. Straus said he filed early out of “an abundance of caution” in light of the fact that it had become a conversation topic among House members. He said that he fully expected to be speaker next session.

Straus also spoke about the possibility of a special session. He said he didn’t mind one way or the other. (Gov. Perry warned the legislature last week that if bills on windstorm insurance didn’t pass, he would immediately call a special session.)

On Voter ID, Straus said it had fell victim to a “hard deadline” that needed to be respected by members. NPT asked him if there were other vehicles Voter ID could be tacked onto, to which he replied, “not to my knowledge.” (Speculation around the Capitol earlier today suggested that there were a few possibilities out there.)

Finally, Straus, reflecting on the last five days of parliamentary gridlock, maintained the session was about passing the budget first and foremost – something he was confident would happen.

“Everything else is gravy,” Straus said.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm

NPT Capitol: Perry’s office to testify at the stimulus select committee

perry2On Wednesday, The House select committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding will hear testimony from the Office of the Governor. State Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, who chairs the committee, has been one of the most outspoken critics of Gov. Rick Perry’s handling of the stimulus money, particularly his public turning-down of over $550m of unemployment benefits that Texas could receive if it made changes to its unemployment code.

If attending, get there early and bring popcorn…

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 3, 2009 at 2:39 pm

NPT Capitol Round Up

nptlogo2Check out NPT’s new weekly feature, Capitol Round-up. This week, The feds fund, Dutton disses, Pollsters provoke and Berman’s bi-lingual, while everyone has something to say when it comes to Mexico. Here’s a sneak peak:

— Scene of the week: the live sonogram at the capitol: During a press conference in support of SB 182, which would require any woman seeking an abortion, to first have the opportunity to hear the heartbeat and see an ultrasound image of the fetus, organizers included a pregnant women undergoing a live sonogram, which was projected on a pull down screen adjacent to the speakers. [link]

— Busy week for:
Gov. Perry. He was in Washington on Monday meeting with the President. He flew back to Austin in order to speak at a pro-life rally at the capitol on Tuesday, got on a plane and was speaking in El Paso by mid-afternoon, and was back in Austin to speak at two different events on Wednesday.

— Weird moment:
Leo Berman. The Tyler state rep, when asked if there should be an amnesty for illegal immigrants in Texas, repeatedly punctured his response with the word “why” and even switched it up asking “por que.” Listen below.

— Question of the week: Will Dunnam’s Select Committee tour come to El Paso?

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 28, 2009 at 9:55 am

NPT DC: Obama chastises Perry over stimulus

From the Dallas Morning News: “The president … joked about the fact that we need transit dollars in Houston, although the governor of Texas has said that maybe Texas won’t take money from the stimulus bill,” Houston Mayor Bill White recounted afterward. [link]

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Speaking to a gathering of about 80 of the nation’s mayors at a White House meeting, Obama specifically mentioned Houston’s need for transit dollars but said Texas could lose money if Perry does not apply for all the federal aid for which the state is eligible.” [link]

Why did Obama feel the need to make these comments despite the fact that if Perry turns down stimulus aid, the legislature can request it? [link]

perry2Simple. Because Perry (and other governors too) have worked out that a lot of the stimulus aid will require much tweaking of the state budgets. And you can’t tweak a state budget without the governor’s signature.

Any creation/expansion of a state program (say, providing pro-rated unemployment benefit for seeking part time work) could bring down bucket loads of supplementary federal dosh (in addition to the one time windfalls for things like transportation projects.) [link]

But… that sort of thing requires the Governor’s say-so, as well as the feds and the lege.

Hence Obama’s singling out of Perry. The stimulus package is not just about fixing the economy. It is also about expanding the scope of state government by providing massive incentives. (Paid for with the national credit-card) In this sense it is as much about colonization as relief. But HR1 is structured in such a way that Governor’s can take the relief and reject the colonization.

Perry said Tuesday, “In Texas, we actually know it is a good idea to look a gift horse in the mouth.” This glitch in the stimulus package means h that states can drink (at least half of) the milk without putting a deposit on the cow.

–Ben Wright


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 21, 2009 at 9:34 am

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