Bills Piling Up on Gov. Perry's Desk

Thursday, Jun 16, 2011  |  Updated 11:16 PM CDT
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Bills Piling Up on Gov. Perry's Desk

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Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to delegates at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, April 9, 2010 in New Orleans.

Gov. Rick Perry has 1,170 pieces of legislation either awaiting his signature or a veto stamp, and just three days left to make the choice.

The Sunday deadline will cap a week of will-he-or-won't-he run for president questions for Perry, as well as a full schedule of nationwide appearances, including a keynote address to an investment firm Thursday in Austin and a Saturday trip to New Orleans to speak to a group of Republicans. Already this week, he's been to New York City and North Carolina.

Perry's spokesman, Mark Miner, said the governor's priority is on the Texas Legislature and his travel has been aimed at promoting Texas and talking about jobs and the economy, which are "important issues to the people of Texas."

"The deadline is Sunday and the appropriate action will be taken on the current bills that are in front of him," Miner said. "He's spent a considerable amount of time going through each and every bill that comes across his desk."

According to the Legislative Reference Library, 1,379 bills were sent to Perry's desk during the regular session that ended May 30. By Thursday afternoon, he had signed or vetoed 277 bills. He also can allow the legislation to become law without his signature.

The remaining legislation includes most of the state budget for 2012-2013. Spending for public schools is still being considered in the ongoing special legislative session.

"He went from just paying partial attention to the Legislature to paying zero attention as he's kicking off his presidential non-campaign," said Rep. Jessica Farrar, the leader of the House Democrats. "I do hope he can find some time in his busy schedule to do what he's paid to do, which is to sign this budget."
 

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