Perry’s call for a special session

Here’s Governor Perry’s official “call” for a special session. The highlighted wording is important because it defines the issues that can be considered at the special session. Clearly, Perry wants the Legislature renew those agencies that got sunset and then go home without getting into issues like voter id.


WHEREAS, the legislature adjourned the 81st Regular Legislative Session without enacting sunset legislation for several state agencies that were subject to sunset review by the 81st Legislature; and

WHEREAS, without legislative action, the state’s Sunset Act, Chapter 325, Government Code, in conjunction with statutory law applicable to those agencies, abolishes the agencies on September 1, 2009, and requires each of the agencies to begin on that date a wind-down process that will culminate in the termination and cessation of all activities of each agency on September 1, 2010; and

WHEREAS, the Sunset Advisory Commission, in its report presented to the legislature and the governor at the 81st Regular Legislative Session, recommended that the agencies be continued in existence; and

WHEREAS, the continuation of the existence of the agencies is crucial for the operation of state governmental activities; and

WHEREAS, passage of enabling legislation to implement the authority granted in Article III, Section 49-p, of the Texas Constitution to issue general obligation bonds for highway improvement projects is necessary to assist in providing adequate financing for future transportation infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the general statutory authority to enter into comprehensive development agreements expires in August 2009, and, with limited means of funding transportation projects, comprehensive development agreements are a necessary tool for providing financing for future transportation infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the people have placed the constitutional power to call and convene the legislature into special session in the hands of the Chief Executive Officer of the State;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, by the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 8, of the Texas Constitution, do hereby call an extraordinary session of the 81st Legislature, to be convened in the City of Austin, commencing at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 1st day of July 2009, for the following purposes:

To consider legislation that provides for extending the existence of several state agencies that were subject to sunset review by the 81st Legislature and will be abolished without legislative action under the state’s Sunset Act, that changes the review schedule for certain state agencies to balance the workload of the Sunset Advisory Commission.

To consider legislation relating to the issuance by the Texas Transportation Commission, pursuant to Article III, Section 49-p, of the Texas Constitution, of general obligation bonds for highway improvement projects, and to the creation, administration, financing and use of a Texas Transportation Revolving Fund to provide financial assistance for transportation projects.

To consider legislation relating to the date on which the authority of the Texas Department of Transportation and a regional mobility authority to enter into a comprehensive development agreement expires.

The Secretary of State will take notice of this action and will notify the members of the legislature of my action.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this the 25th day of June, 2009.

Update: There’s a interesting story in the Dallas Morning News about the various requests for Perry to expand the call for the session. Perry is showing no interest in adding issues to the agenda. It’s interesting that Perry’s legislative agenda continues to be so timid. Voter ID and other conservative initiatives remain stalled. It looks like Perry prefers to enter the 2010 campaign talking about the economy relative to other states and avoiding the risk of seeing his leadership on social and other issues spurned by legislators.


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