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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
June 22, 2011     Hays Free Press
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June 22, 2011

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Hays Free Press • June 22, 2011 0MNION Page 5A + WtGI1 he or won't he run? If ov. Rick Perry's presiden- ial candidacy intentions could have been symbolized by a green, yellow or red light last week, it was arguably yellow, even though he spoke at Republican gatherings in New Orleans and NewYork. Regardless, Texas' chief execu- tive had plenty on his desk, name- ly a heap of legislation awaiting his final decisions. June 19 was the last day for the governor to sign or veto bills passed during the Legislature's regular session, which ended May 30. He released his final-action list on June 17. Perry signed the 2012-2013 state budget, a document $20 billion lighter than the current 2010-2011 state budget. Perry praised the bill for not dipping into the so-called rainy day fund and not creating new taxes. As of June 20, Senate Bill 2, the fiscal matters legislation that makes the budget balance, had not reached the finish line in the still-in-progress special ses- sion of the 82nd Texas Legislature. SB 9, the sanctuary cities bill that allows local police to ques- tion persons stopped for due cause about their immigration status, was approved by the Sen- ate and has moved to the House for consideration. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst praised the work of the body he presides over, saying: "Drug traffickers and transnation- al gangs should think twice before they step foot in Texas." SB 4, the congressional redis- tricting bill, was heavily amended on its trip through the House. Now back in the Senate, upper chamber lawmakers must accept or reject the amendments. Follow- ing SB 4's approval by the House, Speaker loe Straus, R-San Antonio, said, "I am particularly pleased that we have passed all four redistricting maps required this year. The members provided much input and direction on maps that reflect the population changes in our state. The redistricting map for the State Board of Education (HB 600) is now law. The House (HB 150) and Senate (SB 31) redis- tricting maps were simultaneously passed and now await the gover- nor's signature." CAPITAL NOW, ABOUT THOSE VETOES Perry, after reviewing the bills on his desk, said "there were some bills that would have done more harm than good to Texans, and I have used my authority to veto them." He vetoed 23 bills. One of the more attention-getting vetoes was of HB 242, legislation that would have made it a misde- meanor offense to send a text mes- sage while driving a motor vehicle. Perry said the bill, by the dean of the House, Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, "is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults. Current law already pro- hibits drivers under the age of 18 from texting or using a cell phone while driving. I believe there is a distinction between the overreach of House Bill 242 and the govern- ment's legitimate role in establish- ing laws for teenage drivers who are more easily distracted and laws providing further protection to chil- dren in school zones." Here are a few more: • HB 992 by Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, relating to excess undergraduate credit hours at pub- lic institutions of higher education. Perry said the bill "would encourage students to waste time and money, along with taxpayer dollars, and would prevent students and com- munity colleges from being held ac- countable for responsible academic planning and advising." • HB 1768 by Rep. Sergio Mu- noz Jr., D-Mission, which sought to regulate roadside vendors in a county with a population of 450,000 or greater, also was vetoed. Perry said, "It would be unfortunate if, through regulation, we uninten- tionally prevented, for example, the owner of a peach orchard with baskets of fruit or a Girl Scout troop with cartons of cookies from reach- ing their consumers." • HB 1616 by Rep. Wayne Chris- tian, R-Center, allowing the filer of a campaign finance report to correct without penalty any report within 14 days after a sworn complaint has been filed with the Texas Eth- ics Commission. Perry said the bill would have undermined the agency's enforcement authority. NO SIGNATURE ON SOME BILLS The governor let 27 regular- session bills, most of them local district bills, pass without putting his signature on them, which is his prerogative. Among the non-local unsigned bills are these: • HB 600 by Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, defining new districts for the election of State Board of Education members. • HB 1541 by Rep. Ruth Jones Mc- Clendon, D-San Antonio, tightening requirements for the state's Auto- mobile Burglary and Theft Preven- tion Authority. • HB 1788 by Rep. Joe Farias, D- San Antonio, relating to capturing reptiles and amphibians by non- lethal means. "ot enough for ya? Yep, it's gonna be a hot one again today. What's • it been, something like 40 days and 40 nights without a drop of rain and temperatures in triple digits? What I've been hearing from some rather bored TV weathermen is the odds of significant rainfall are like a snowball's chance in Terlingua. And the worst news is that summer's just begun. I'm not happy about the weather pattern of scorching days and muggy nights, but on the other hand, I'm not complaining much neither. Sure, I'm having to buy hay to feed my cows year-round, but think of the money I save on fuel for not having to mow m~, pastures. For the first time in years, I didn't have to mow down dead wildflowers. Those fields of pink and purple flowers have been replaced by barren wastelands scattered with granite-hard cow patties. The only color Maw has in her flower beds these BRAND NEW LUXURY SENIOR COMMUNITY days is brown. I may tqss in some red cedar mulch just to add contrast. This heat and drought hasn't caused me to start looking for work in the Rockies or Pacific Northwest. I've lived here long enough to know that heat waves, like a tasty bran muffin, will eventually pass. It may take a while, but if you wait it out, we will eventually be back outside, sitting on the front porch enjoying a cool breeze, passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. So relax and have another tall glass of iced tea. Summer is only three months long and autumn will be here soon. And if we are lucky, a hurricane will come our way and pour some rain into our dust bowl. I kinda feel sorry (not really) for all those transplanted Californians who are accustom to luke-warm summers and the only temperatures in triple digits coming from their ovens. These folks have 1io idea what's in store for them this summer when it gets really • hot. So, being a hospitable host in this here Lone Star State, I have compiled summertime in FROM THE a list of ways to know when a Texas summer has officially arrived. Some of you native Texans may have experi- enced some of these phenomena, but newcomers won't understand what I'm talking about until it happens to them. So let's get the word out. Before they unpack their badminton sets or buy wrought-iron patio furniture, warn these pilgrims that South Texas is as close to Purgatory as you can get with- out a one-way ticket. You know It's summertime in Texas when... • Hot water now comes out of both taps. • You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a darn good branding iron. • You can make sun tea instantly. • The best parking place is deter- mined by shade instead of distance. • You finally have that hot tub you've l~een wanting, but unfortunately it is your cows' water trough. • The trees are whistling for the dogs. • The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground. • You discover you can get sunburned through your car window. • Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?" • The term "huevos rancheros" is also a medical diagnosis. • The soles of your new running shoes melt walking across the Payless store's parking lot. • Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs. • Pigs no longer stink but smell like fresh bacon in a frying pan. • The only puddles on the ground are the product of too mu,ch beer and weak bladders. • Hot coffee is no longer appealing to you on Sunday mornings, no matter how bad your hangover is. • Being "hot and bothered" has noth- ing to do with romance. • The temperature drops below 95 and you look for a jacket. • The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper. • A frozen strawberry daiquiri turns into a wa n'glass of Kool-Aid moments after stepping outside. • Vaqueros put their drawers in the freezer at oight so they won't have hue- vos rancheros the next day. • You see Willie Nelson entering a barber shop. I hope this list prepares all the new- comers to our fine state. I'm not sure they can handle temperatures in triple digits and lawns resembling the Mojave Desert: I do hope their stay here is short, but enjoyable. We do have terrific weather here in Texas between Thanks- giving and Christmas, but normally our summer stretches from March to October, sandwiched Ibetween two weeks of autumn-like 'weather and a short spring. And let's not forget those two or three days ofwiinter that we get once a year. Brr! I wonder if Davy Crockett fully understood that whenl he told fellow congressmen that the~, could all go to hell and he would go t. o Texas, he would be living in the hotter .of the two places. Here's a little saying that my mother used to say that may a pply to some of you out there: If you cmn't stand the heat, get out of the kit,chen. In other words, it's gonna be hot here in Texas so quit your complainiing. LAW OFFICE OF Family L~w Mediator . 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