The Texas House Friday voted to drain most of GOP Gov. Rick Perry’s office budget and instead spend the money on community mental health crisis services and veterans’ services.
The move, which came during House debate on a $178.4 billion proposal for the two-year period starting Sept. 1, immediately drew a reference to Perry’s recent comments about Texas’ ability to secede from the union. The comments have drawn national attention and some lawmakers’ ire.
“Two days after the governor threatens secession, the House zeroes out his budget,” said Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, House Appropriations Committee vice chairman.
Molly Ivins just did a few spins.
The House action came a day after the Senate rebuffed Perry’s wishes on another matter, by voting for legislation that would allow Texas to take more than half a billion dollars in economic stimulus funds for unemployment benefits. Perry opposes program changes that Texas would have to make to get the money.John Davis said that?
In the House, the Houston lawmakers who initiated the near-emptying of Perry’s budget said it wasn’t a slap at him. They said they just wanted to fund crucial programs.
“I need the money. I don’t care where I get it,” said Rep. John Davis, R-Houston, who offered the proposal to take $18.5 million from Perry’s office and spend it on mental health services that divert people from jails and emergency rooms. “These people need help.”
And here I was wondering what the Republicans were going to do to top the freak week just passed.