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Texas lawmakers seek to curtail governor’s power

Texas lawmakers seek to curtail governor’s power
March 18
17:23 2013
Texas Gov. Rick Perry gives a "thumbs-up" gesture to a member of the audience during a ceremony Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. (AP Photo/The Daily Sentinel, Andrew D. Brosig)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry gives a “thumbs-up” gesture to a member of the audience during a ceremony Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
(AP Photo/The Daily Sentinel, Andrew D. Brosig)

Dallas Morning News via Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Some Republican and Democratic legislators have joined forces on measures aimed at curtailing Gov. Rick Perry’s power, benefits and number of terms.

The Dallas Morning News (http://dallasne.ws/144MnmW ) reported Sunday that at least six bills, proposed constitutional amendments and budget decisions would reduce the governor’s power or perks. Although some of the efforts might not affect Perry directly, they seem to be inspired by his actions as governor.

Perry took office in December 2000 when fellow Republican George W. Bush resigned in order to become president and for the last decade he has enjoyed the backing of a GOP-controlled Legislature. Perry was elected to four-year terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

One proposed constitutional amendment seeks to impose a two-term limit. And yet another would make legislators and officeholders resign if they choose to run for a candidacy other than their post and have less than 13 months left on their terms.

Another would have the governor pay his security costs when traveling for personal or political trips. Perry, during his failed 2012 presidential bid, spent 160 days out of state — costing taxpayers $3.7 million.

Perry draws $90,000 a year in state retirement benefits while he still collects a $150,000 yearly salary. Another bill would block such arrangements.

An aide says Perry will review any bill that reaches his desk.

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