Today Governor Perry gave his state of the state speech. I thought it was very good. He obviously practiced the speech and was engaged. I thought he laid out some really good ideas.
But that was a different Perry than I have ever seen. Think about it. Can you imagine Governor Perry ever deliberately stating that we need to spend more money before today? Yet that is exactly what he did.
Last session he fought tooth and nail spending any rainy day fund, he has been the leader of diverting funds from their intended use to something else for the last decade (remember he was Lt. Gov when they did that) and has basically ignored the state infrastructure needs; besides selling hundreds of millions in bonds to cover road projects.
So what has changed? A couple of things: Michael Quinn Sullivan has been quiet and made into a paper tiger. The extreme part of the TEA PARTY has been shown to be unreasonable and kooky (anybody that wants David Simpson to lead anything is pretty extreme) and the leadership of Joe Straus and his lieutenants has been organized, thoughtful and reasonable in their agenda. Perry cannot compete with that so he co-opted it.
Governor Perry knows that most conservative Texans are tired of the bomb throwing and sound bites. They drive on the washboard roads, they send their kids to the crappy schools, they see our lakes with rings around them where water use to be so he decided to make the House agenda his.
My only question is where is 3.7 billion come from? I suspect that is the amount the rainy day fund will have in extra money. I am told the RDF can only collect so much money and after that no one knows where the money goes.
Whatever the reason for his newfound need to do something about Texas infrastructure I think the Governor deserves a pat on the back. Better late than never.
Oh – and I hear committee assignments will be out by Friday – we will wait and see.
Til Next Time – Adios Mofos