Perry's tax relief plan highlights speech to legislature

Houston Chronicle:
Gov. Rick Perry called for investing billions in water and transportation plus tax relief Tuesday, but what he left out of his State of the State speech got attention, too.

He included no mention of the hot-button issues of abortion or immigration, and he left untouched the emotional debate over gun laws.

Perry did push for tax relief of at least $1.8 billion over two years in a speech to a joint session of the Legislature in theHouse chamber, asking for feedback from Texans on exactly what form it should take. The relief would be paid for in part by taking money from the state rainy day fund, according to his proposed budget.

He also asked lawmakers to dip into the rainy day fund for $3.7 billion to invest in water and transportation infrastructure, calling it critical to the state's economic development and Texans' quality of life.

He highlighted South Texas higher education, calling for the region to get access to the Permanent University Fund that benefits other institutions in the University of Texas and Texas A&M systems.

"This area of the state is critical to our state's future, and our investments in the children of South Texas will return to us a thousand-fold," Perry said.
... 
There should be more funding in the Permanent University Fund which gets money from oil and gas development in parts of the state.  With the growth in the production in recent years, the fund should have the money needed for the investments Gov. Perry called for.

While I like the tax relief message, I think we also need the infrastructure spending on roads as well as water projects.  Both will be keys to the development of shale plays throughout the state which have been key drivers of revenue and jobs.

As for the not mentioned issues referred to, there is little doubt where the governor stands on those issues.

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