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Gov. Perry: "The State of our State is Strong"

Governor Rick Perry delivered his State of the State address this morning.
Image by Chris Kosho for KUT News
Governor Rick Perry delivered his State of the State address this morning.

Texas Governor Rick Perry just gave his State of the State speech before a joint session of the Legislature. He was optimistic and praised the comparative strength of Texas’ economy.  And he had a message for those who’ve been painting a doom and gloom picture for Texas because of the state’s multi-billion dollar budget hole, "The core elements of our economy are strong and Texas is still the envy of the nation."

This is the sixth State of the State speech Texas’ longest-serving governor has given.  Perry reiterated that he doesn’t think the state should tap its more than $9 billion rainy day fund.

"Emptying the savings account to pay for recurring expenses is a bad idea whether it happens at home, the workforce or with our state budget.  That approach would not only postpone tough necessary decisions but also leave us ill equipped to handle bigger emergencies in the future," said Perry.

The governor also proposed  cutting bureaucracy and reducing spending. He said the state should suspend funding for what "non-mission critical" entities such as the Texas Historical Commission and the state's Commission on the Arts, until the economy improves.

But Governor Perry also found time to criticize what he termed "federal overreach," specifically the Health Care Act passed by Congress last year.