Well, you can read the text of Governor Rick Perry's State of the State speech and see for yourself what it was all about. Frankly, I think Matt got it in one: This was a campaign speech. I mean, stem cells? Ultrasounds? That he spoke about voter ID is no surprise, though how he framed it was a bit odd. Immigration, too, on which there was more muddled thinking. Point being, who other than a Republican primary voter thinks these are the top issues in Texas today? It was small ball, intended for a small audience. You'd have to ask them if the speech was effective, because it wasn't addressed to me, or to most of the people (I presume) who are reading this.
For responses to the Governor's speech, and a good sampling of what he should have talked about but didn't, here are responses from freshman State Reps. Joe Moody and Chris Turner, and State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. Click on beneath the fold for press releases from State Reps. Trey Martinez-Fischer and Garnet Coleman. And here, much shorter than Perry's speech, is a YouTube response from Rep. Coleman.
Statement from Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer:
Today, Governor Rick Perry delivered his state of the state speech in which he outlined his legislative priorities for the 81st Legislative Session. Governor Perry focused on what will become the broad strokes of his campaign to be re-elected Governor of Texas. The only problem-- Texans are not interested in politics, they are interested in solutions.
"The only thing apparent was that someone is running for re-election." said Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio), the Chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. "At a time, when 99% of Texans are worried about their paychecks and their pocketbooks, Governor Perry is worried about re-election."
In what most consider to be the race of his political career, Governor Perry is expected to face strong opposition in the Republican gubernatorial primary by sitting United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Governor Perry's speech was marked by references to controversial and partisan policies like voter identification.
"From the kitchen table to the Capitol, Texans are welcoming a new era of politics driven by what unites us--they are choosing policy over platitudes," said Representative Martinez Fischer.
"MALC stands ready to work to help create jobs, increase access to quality and affordable healthcare and create opportunities for small businesses. Divisive rhetoric above common sense doesn't create jobs," said Representative Martinez Fischer.
Today Representative Coleman responded to Governor Perry's State of the State address:
The state of our great State is strong, because Texans are a wonderfully diverse people. The people of Texas deserve a government that works for them, the same way they work for their families.
Too many things are broken, and today, the Governor failed to propose solutions to fix many of the things that have been broken during his tenure as Governor.
In the Governor's address to a joint session of the Legislature, he neglected to mention the Children's Health Insurance Program, the mismanagement of the state unemployment fund, and the need to make a real investment in clean, renewable energy sources.
"Whether we are Democrats, Republicans or Independents, surely we can agree that we can't afford to ignore the health of 1.5 million uninsured Texas children. Many Texans can no longer afford tuition at state universities, and we can do better than the Governor's fake freeze. Education is one investment that doesn't lose value in tough economic times, and it's time for the state to meet its responsibility to fix a system that's broken."
Representative Coleman pledged to reach across party lines to fix the things that are broken. Representative Coleman committed to:
-Provide health insurance coverage for every child
-Lower the cost of college.
-Invest in our children's classrooms
-Lower insurance and utility rates
-Make a real investment in clean, renewable energy sources.
Representative Coleman concluded by saying:
We can meet these needs without increasing taxes, provided state government's priorities are the priorities that offer every Texan an opportunity to succeed and contribute their talents to make the state of our state even stronger.