PERRY, DEWHURST SWORN INTO THIRD TERMS
|Governor Rick Perry was sworn-in to his third term by Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. Gov. Perry was joined at the rostrum by his wife Anita, daughter Sydney, son Griffin, and daughter-in-law Meredith.|
(AUSTIN) — A huge crowd of Texans turned out Tuesday at the State Capitol to mark the inaugural ceremony for Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Both men laid out their legislative priorities and philosophies in their inaugural addresses to the assembled crowd. The themes of both addresses centered on the same premise: reducing government spending to balance the state budget without raising taxes.
Perry won election to his third term as Governor in November, a feat unequalled by any previous Texas governor. Perry is also the longest serving current governor in the United States. Perry attributed his reelection to leadership that emphasizes free enterprise and limited government. He said that the reason Texas has weathered the current financial crisis better than any other state lies in this hands-off government approach to business. Facing new challenges, including a $26 billion budget shortfall, Perry said Texas must stick to its pro-business, small government philosophy. "These tough times dictate government doing more with less," he said.
|Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was also sworn-in to his third term by Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst was joined at the rostrum by his wife Patricia and their daughter Carolyn.|
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was sworn into his third term as the presiding officer of the Senate. His inaugural address echoed the same themes of small government and better business. Dewhurst asserted that by cutting government spending, Texas can balance its budget without new taxes. " In the worst economy in 70 years, with unemployment at its highest in decades, now is not the time to ask families to make do with less so government can spend more," he said.
As the leader of the Senate, Dewhurst sets the agenda and decides what legislation comes before Senators for consideration. During his address, he laid out his priorities for the upcoming session. Chief among these is increasing security along the Mexico border. Dewhurst called on Washington to triple the number of border patrol agents along the state's international border. He also emphasized the need for a more secure electoral process, saying that the Senate will pass a voter I.D. bill. Dewhurst also called for legislation to improve public and higher education and for bills that reduce the cost and increase access to healthcare.
The Senate will reconvene Wednesday, January 19th, at 11 AM.