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Gov. Perry signs HB 1; adds eminent domain issues to call

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX –

Public schools will open on time in Texas, says Gov. Rick Perry, after the governor today signed HB 1, the $33.1 billion Texas Education Agency budget.

Perry had used his line-item veto power to veto those funds from the appropriations bill in the 79th Regular Session as a means of forcing legislators back to Austin to address public school reform issues. Although HB 1 does not include sufficient funds to adequately funds education reforms, Perry said it will ensure that schools open on time. "I remain hopeful that the legislature will act in the remaining days of this special session to finish the job of reforming our education system, giving teachers a meaningful pay increase and funding textbooks," said the governor.

The governor also announced today that he is adding legislation relative to eminent domain to the call of the Second Called Session. He said the issue is important to Texans "who want assurances their private property won't be taken from them to advance someone else's private interests." The issue arose when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that private property can be taken for economic development projects by private interests.

"I hope legislators can come to a consensus on protecting Texans from unfair land grabs," said Perry.