News Room

October 7, 2009

"Here’s the reality: one in four have no health insurance. Homeowners’ insurance rates are highest in the US. All across the state, Texas cities have the most polluted air in America. On Texas streets, predatory lenders routinely charge 1100% interest per year. At UTEP, because Perry cut taxes for millionaires, tuition for students went up 73%. That’s the real record—failed leadership. Our great state deserves better than dead last under Rick Perry.”

Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh,


EL PASO - On Friday October 7, 2009 at 2 p.m. in front of the El Paso Convention Center, Senator Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso), will host a press conference to discuss the real state of the state under Rick Perry.

On Friday, Rick Perry will come to El Paso to talk to Chamber of Commerce supporters. What El Paso and Texas need to know, is the real state of the state of Texas after 25 years of Rick Perry.

Early in the 81st Session of the Texas Legislature, Governor Rick Perry gave his state of the state speech. Here's what he said:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the State of our State is good."

Here's what he did not say: "Texas government is failing Texans.”  When Chamber gala goers hear Perry speak, here’s the reality behind Perry’s rhetoric:

  • In education, we now rank 46th in SAT scores and dead last in the percentage of the population 25 and older with a high school diploma.  Only 64 percent of ninth graders graduate from high school within four years, and only 35 percent enter college.  Perry’s own business commission (with members from El Paso) recently declared that Texas ‘is no longer competitive’ due to woeful education outcomes;
  • By fall 2009, tuition at places like the University of Texas at El Paso will have increased 73 percent since 2003, making college a distant dream for many Texans. Despite wide public support to cap tuition, Perry did nothing to ensure passage of tuition cap bills;
  • In 2003, Governor Rick Perry intentionally kicked over 200,000 Texas children out of the CHIP and another 500,000 out of Medicaid.  Rather than cover eligible children through CHIP, Gov. Perry sent a total of $958 million back to the federal government. CHIP is funded by a combination of state and federal dollars.  Unlike Medicaid where the costs are more equally divided, the federal government pays for the majority of CHIP.  In fact, for every total $1 spent on CHIP, the federal government pays 72 cents while the state pays the remaining 28 cents. So, instead of using the nearly $1 billion that the federal government set aside for Texans to expand CHIP to cover as many Texas children as possible, Gov. Perry sent your taxpayer dollars back to the federal government so that other states like Illinois could cover all of their children.
  • Texans now breathe air with more carcinogens than citizens of any other state in America.
  • Perry’s border strategy of 17 border cameras an unspecified number of Texas Rangers deployed by the Governor to cover a 1200 mile Border is all about political pandering, not real border security;
  • HHS agencies continue to not have the necessary manpower to process claims in key programs to help Texans hurt by the recession; last month 41.4 % of food stamp applicants did not get their applicants processed within the time period required by law due to lack of manpower and experience.
  • Despite Perry’s boasts about the state budget, Texas structural deficit under Perry will be at least $9 billion by 2011. Also, according to a  new report, out of 35 states that used federal stimulus funds to balance their budgets, Texas relied most heavily on it, using $12 billion to fill 96.7 percent of its budget gap. 

 “For too long, Rick Perry has seceded from reality. Now is time for reality based Texans take back our great state. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get a government that knows how to educate our children; let’s fund quality infrastructure to move Texas forward; let’s deploy a real Border strategy, not more political posturing. Let’s buck lobbyists, lower insurance rates and kick predatory lenders out of Texas. Most of all, let’s get government back to people and Texans back to work. Our great state deserves better than dead last under Rick Perry.”


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