The Houston Chronicle runs down some of the issues facing the legislature here at the final stretch (link). They include state school reform (Rick is for it), submitting a responsible and balanced budget (Rick needs this), unemployment insurance (Rick may have to veto the lege's actions), windstorm insurance (a lot of work left), wrongful conviction restitution (Rick is for it), voter ID (Rick is for it), college tuition freeze (Rick is for it), and far less important but included in the media's list... a journalist shield law (no idea where Rick stands, and I don't really care).
There are also some social issues. The ultrasound bill and the Choose Life license plates will help Rick solidify the pro life voters in the Texas GOP primary. As the media calls it, "anti abortion" bills are working their way through the legislature right now (link). Excerpts follow...
Both bills were championed by Gov. Rick Perry, who is stressing his conservative credentials heading into an expected Republican primary battle with U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Perry included the ultrasound bill in his State of the State address in January, urging lawmakers to pass the measure to add “another layer of protection for the most vulnerable Texans.”
In February, he again endorsed the proposal at a rally of hundreds of anti-abortion advocates on the Capitol steps.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, rewrote the ultrasound bill to help win passage. His initial bill would have required an ultrasound to be performed shortly before a woman could receive an abortion so that she could view the growth status of her fetus.
The Senate also sent the House a bill by Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, to establish “Choose Life” specialty license plates, with revenue going to promote adoption.
Perry first plugged the license plate bill in December, giving an issue that had failed to pass in previous session added impetus.
Texas would join 19 states that have similar plates, which have raised more than $9 million to support pregnant women who are considering adoption.
“This license plate will give Texans a subtle but meaningful way to express their personal views, while supporting pregnant women making the decision to choose adoption,” Perry said in a statement.
Will the legislature play nice? Or will they try to hand Rick some defeats that might help boost Kay's argument that she would make a better governor?