State Sen. Kirk Watson gives his view of Governor Perry’s vetoes. As he was one of the biggest victims of Perry’s pen, he had a lot to complain about. Among the bills he discusses is one I hadn’t been aware of:
Bafflingly, the Governor also vetoed a bill that would have protected Texans from those who make money unfairly or deceptively selling annuities. Not one legislator, at any stage of the process and in either the House or Senate, voted against the bill.
In his veto statement, the Governor is clearly more worried about the insurance companies and agents than the victims themselves. Given the legislature’s inability to pass even basic consumer protections this session, insurance ratepayers are rightly wondering if they’ll ever get a break under this leadership.
Here’s that veto statement. I daresay you can add that to the list of campaign issues for 2010. Watson also sounds a now-quite familiar complaint:
The veto list also includes five bills that I authored or sponsored. All of them passed unanimously or nearly unanimously through the legislature. And I had no sense during the session, despite pretty frequent contacts with the Governor’s office and staff, that he was concerned about them enough to just kill them. (In fact, I was affirmatively assured he would NOT veto one that he did.)
Watson joins Rep. Garnet Coleman and Texas Campaign for the Environment Director Robin Schneider in claiming that Perry vetoed bills that his staff had assured them he’d sign. I don’t recall people making a similar charge after previous legislative sessions – am I remembering incorrectly, or is this really something unusual? Regardless, I have to ask again: How can you work with a guy whose staffers don’t give you honest feedback?
Anyway. If Watson runs for Governor, as his colleague Sen. Van de Putte thinks he should, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore these themes in greater detail. So far, he’s non-committal, and I daresay he will continue to be until after the upcoming special session is over. Which I hope will be soon.