Perry Faces Awkward Policy Debates, More Scrutiny
by Jay Root
December 21, 2012
Gov. Rick Perry was at the height of his power in 2011 when the most Republican Texas Legislature in modern times enacted deep spending cuts and handed him one victory after another.
But after a botched run for the presidency and growing disenchantment among Tea Party activists, Perry is facing some potentially awkward policy discussions when the Legislature convenes in January, as well as deeper scrutiny of an administration that has endured for 12 years.
For starters, fellow Republicans want to ban a provision Perry has used to “double dip” — taking both his salary and his state pension — a benefit that has boosted his earnings by more than $90,000 a year.
Meanwhile, Tea Party conservatives are upset about all the money going to “corporate welfare,” including tax subsidies and incentive payments that Perry champions as vital to luring companies to Texas. Perry says the state economy is stronger as a result, but not all Republicans agree.
Rep. James White, R-Hillister, who represents a conservative swath of southeast Texas, said he does not understand why big corporations get tax dollars when his district needs more money for roads and schools.