Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Lawmakers rock the Truth-O-Meter needle

Flashing back to our fact-checks from last week, we also caught some previously missed 2010 campaign promises.

In early March, Perry told reporters that the state budget challenge now isn’t all that distinct from what the 2003 Legislature tackled that year. "The percentage of the budget shortfall versus the budget (now) is really not that much different than it was in 2003," Perry said.

Drawing from an analysis by the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, we rated his statement False. The current gap between expected revenue and what it would cost Texas to match existing spending is 40 percent larger than in 2003. The gulf between projected revenue and what it would cost to continue current government services is nearly 63 percent.

A Democratic leader in the Texas Senate, Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, led us to research her statement from a February press releasethat since 1980, "over 145 incidents have been documented of suction entrapment in swimming pools and spas, including 36 deaths of children." Her back-up information didn’t entirely prove the claim. But we concluded from additional sources that the statement is True.

In the House, Rep. Wayne Christian touted legislationprohibiting hospital districts from using tax dollars to fund abortions, noting that the ban would affect only the Austin area. "Currently the Travis County Healthcare District, known as Central Health, is the only hospital district in Texas that spends taxpayer dollars on abortions," Christian, R-Center, said in a March 15 press release.

True, we concluded, though admittedly we checked only a handful of more than a hundred such districts. Folks on both sides of the abortion debate supported Christian’s claim, including National Abortion Federation President Vicki Saporta, who said: "To our knowledge, no other hospital district in Texas provides coverage for medically-necessary abortion care for low-income women."

And then came our belated discovery of four Perry campaign promises that he aired in September — all reflecting his interest in deterring what he calls frivolous lawsuits. We ranked these promises In The Works.

Did we miss a statement deserving review? Write us at politifact@statesman.com. You can also contact us on Facebook or on Twitter, @PolitiFactTexas.