Governor Perry explains why he vetoed legislation to improve ethics in Harris County.
“I was never for that bill. Now, there may have been some people on my staff who were of a different mind,” Perry said, responding to a reporter’s question after a campaign event. “If we want to pass a statewide ethics law that deals with cities and counties, then let’s get together during the interim and develop that bill.”
Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, had said the GOP governor’s office told him Friday that Perry would bless the bill, then changed course.
Putting aside the question of the bill’s constitutionality – I’m still dubious of the Governor’s claim – isn’t it a problem when his staffers misrepresent his position like this? At the very least, there was a failure to communicate somewhere along the line. And it appears that it affected more than one bill.
No one likes a bill they worked hard on to die, but there’s particular fury in the environmental community today that Gov. Rick Perry killed House Bill 821, the famous zombie TV recycling legislation. “Perry had no good reason to veto this bill,” Texas Campaign for the Environment Director Robin Schneider said.
Schneider is particularly frustrated because Perry struck the bill down even though it had wide-spread support (including big industry names like GE, Thomson, Philips and the TechAmerica trade associatiom) that almost exactly mirrored the consensus-backing of the 2007 session’s computer recycling bill. “This bill uses the free market to let the companies come up with their recycling plans, and the fees were modest,” she lamented.
More importantly, Perry’s staff told her he was fine with it – right up to the point he vetoed it.
How many other bills were victimized by bad information from the Governor’s office? This is ridiculous. And I’d still like to know what Ed Emmett thinks about the death of the Harris County bill. Guess I’ll have to call and ask him myself.
Meanwhile, the AusChron looks at vetoes by the number, and determines that Democratic and bipartisan bills were more likely to be killed than Republican bills, and bills from urban areas were killed more often than rural ones. Neither of these observations should come as a surprise.