A Look at Reaction to State of the State Address

Quotes from legislators and others after Gov. Rick Perry’s State of the State address on Tuesday:

“He has a new view from the top. … We are rebuilding the engine and we are starting from zero.” – Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano.

“It’s unfortunate that it took a month of pressure for the governor to propose cuts. One-fifth of the session is over, OK here’s what he wants to cut. Now it’ll take us a while to digest that. I think any proposal he makes is a good one, because he hasn’t made one before today.” – Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

“We’ll reach a consensus on what are essential services and then at the end of the day we’ll balance the budget because I believe we share the governor’s commitment to balancing our budget, maintaining essential services and not raising new taxes.” – Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

“The governor’s recommendations seemed to be a little hard in their hits on higher education. But again, we’re going to look very carefully at this during our budget process.” – Dewhurst.

“We will consider every recommendation as is on the table. But for every recommendation that is made, we will not only look at it seriously but also raise questions about the impact. … We don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish.” – Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.

“Job creation is important and I support his efforts to bring jobs to Texas. But if we want to reap the benefits of economic security and fiscal responsibility we must first invest in the health and education of our children.” – Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

“I agree with the governor’s comment that there is no clear solution currently on the table regarding school finance. That is why many of the members from both parties are wary of doing away with our school funding without an existing alternative.” – Gallego.

“Gov. Perry talked to families when he vowed to set spending priorities and live within the available funds, just as families are doing.” – Peggy Venable, director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy.

“We view the governor’s message as a positive sign that he will follow through on his promise not to cut education funding, and in fact plans to increase spending on our students. We are pleased that, despite the budget shortfall, the governor recognizes that education is the greatest investment we can make in the prosperity of Texas.” – Doug Rogers, executive director of the Association of Texas Professional Educators.

“Governor Perry is to be commended for making access to affordable health care for all Texans a priority. … The Legislature must put the brakes on out-of-control health care lawsuit abuse and skyrocketing malpractice premiums.” – Kirsten Voinis, spokeswoman for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas.

“Perry is acting on the will of the people, the pleas of the small business owner and the demands of the state by balancing a budget that some say is impossible to reconcile without raising taxes. … It’s time to take a hard look at every dollar the state spends just like every Texas family.” – Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business.

“I’m afraid you’re looking at denying people health care.” – Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities.