Perry, Dewhurst sworn in
Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst were sworn in on the South steps of the Texas Capitol yesterday morning, amid the enthusiastic cheers of hundreds of really really white people.
During the celebration, dubbed the “Nothing To See Here, Everything Is Fine, Go About Your Business” inauguration, Perry proclaimed this to be a “Texas century.” He later denied that he was signaling to his supporters that he intends to keep running for Governor for the entirety of this century.
Dewhurst, for his part, delivered a wide-ranging speech lasting approximately three days. He touched on a wide range of issues of interest to Republican primary voters in, let’s say, a U.S. Senate race, and called on Washington D.C. to send more troops to the border until such time as Republican polling indicates otherwise.
The Republicans’ celebration was interrupted by the noise of what reporters described as a small airplane towing a congratulatory banner, but which most conservative attendees claimed was a black helicopter.
Republican budget draft released
State Representative Jim Pitts, the Republican Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, released his initial budget draft yesterday evening. To the surprise of Capitol-watchers, the only funded line item remaining in Pitts’ proposal is $12. 53, to pay a guy to turn off the lights.
Pitts said there’s room for negotiation in the coming months, specifically citing several other unfunded items which lawmakers might want to consider backing. These include hiring a night watchman at the Department of Public Safety, whose job duties would include continuing to approve concealed weapons permits, and funding to continue the last remaining vestiges of the Texas Education Agency, tasked with firing all remaining public school teachers in the state and renaming the scaled-down agency as the “Department of Home Schooling and Creationism.”
Most Republicans hailed the budget draft, explaining that they were happy that Texas legislators were finally scrubbing the budget of wasteful luxuries such as food, clothing, and shelter.
However, the budget document stands in stark contrast to remarks given by state Senator Steve Ogden last week. Ogden, the Senate’s chief budget-writer, urged Senators to “leave politics at the door” this session, alter the under-performing franchise tax, fix public education and health and human services funding to better serve Texans, and use the state’s $9 billion rainy day fund.
Other Republicans privately denounced Ogden’s positions, angrily characterizing them as “a dirty bald-faced truth.”