Perry's familiar lines plus "shout-out" to Doggett
We don’t see a clear-cut way to judge whether we’re in the "Texas Century," as Gov. Rick Perry put it in his Feb. 8 State of the State address. Three weeks earlier, he declared the same in his inaugural address.
Among Perry’s claims that we haven’t previously checked was one aimed at U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, who authored an amendment that Perry says "is taking more than $830 million from Texas schoolchildren and teachers right now."
Perry also wondered if "doomsayers have forgotten that Texas added more jobs in 2010 than any other state." We haven’t checked that jobs-gained claim, but we did look into a similar Perry statement from a September campaign ad: "We’ve created more than 850,000 jobs, more than all the other states combined." We rated that True: Texas experienced a net gain of 853,400 jobs from January 2001 to June 2010.
During this week’s speech, Perry credited the state’s flexible air permitting program for contributing to cleaner air in Texas. "Between 2000 and 2009, this program helped Texas achieve a 27 percent reduction of statewide ozone levels, more than any other state. NOx has fallen by 53 percent."
We checked a similar statement in June after Perry issued a press release stating that since 2000, "the Texas clean air program achieved a 22 percent reduction in ozone and a 46 percent decrease in NOx emissions."
We rated that Half True: Perry accurately recapped improvements in the state’s ozone levels. But his NOx statistic referred solely to industrial emissions, while nearly three quarters of NOx emissions came from other sources. Also, it’s not clear how much credit the state would merit; federal vehicle emission regulations also helped lower ozone levels.
Perry often blasts the federal government for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. His latest speech was no different. "Despite our frequent requests, Washington has yet to dedicate sufficient resources to secure our international border." he said. "We still need 1,000 National guard troops to support current law enforcement operations on our border until they can provide those 3,000 more border patrol agents."
He sang a similar tune in April when he said during an interview with The Texas Tribune and Newsweek that "we’ve got a 1,000 National Guard troop request that’s been in front of this president for over a year and no response." We rated that Half True because the Obama administration has repeatedly acknowledged Perry’s request for troops; it just hasn’t given him the answer he seeks.
And what’s a speech without some stumping? Perry repeated several campaign promises that we’re tracking on our new Perry-O-Meter.
We earlier rated a couple as Promise Kept. At last month’s start of the legislative session, Perry designated eminent-domain reform and the abolition of sanctuary cities as emergency items — which he promised to do during his re-election campaign.
During the State of the State address, Perry nodded to legislators for supporting his "efforts to abolish sanctuary city policies" and "protect property ownership with tougher eminent domain laws."
He also thanked Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, for carrying legislation requiring voters to show a photo ID. During the campaign Perry proclaimed, "we’re going to do voter ID in 2011." We’ve rated that promise In the Works.
Perry touched on other promises we haven’t rated yet.
During the campaign and during the his address, Perry talked up plans to expand the Virtual School Network, require students to stay in high school or be earning their GED to keep a driver’s license, create a tax incentive employers to help their employees return to school or earn their GED, and to expand the Texas-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math academies.
He also mentioned an earlier proposal to allow prosecutors to seek life sentences without parole for repeat sex offenders, require GPS monitoring of high-risk sex offenders for three years after prison and to toughen the law against human traffickers.
See the Perry promises we’re tracking here.