AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today spoke at the Greater Houston Builders Association Luncheon and urged Texans to vote in this year’s constitutional election. Early voting begins today. He specifically emphasized the importance to vote “yes” for Proposition 4, related to developing more top-tier research universities across the state, and for Proposition 11, related to strengthening Texas landowners’ private property rights.
“To fund the important next step in our efforts to push Texas up the list of top-educating states, we need Texas voters to visit their local polling place and vote for Proposition 4,” said Gov. Perry. “I’ll also be checking the box for Proposition 11 which sustains our state’s forward momentum in protecting private property rights and builds a firewall between the misguided principles of the Supreme Court’s Kelo ruling and our state’s private property owners.”
Proposition 4 will implement the provisions of House Bill 51 from the 81st Legislative session by offering the leaders of emerging research universities a path to Tier One certification. It will also tie funding to key accountability measures, like procurement of matching funding and the attainment of key measures like degrees actually awarded, instead of students enrolled. Proposition 11, based on House Joint Resolution 14, closes off one angle a government entity might pursue to improperly take land by requiring the government to continue having “ownership, use, and enjoyment” of the property so it can’t be handed over to a private party. It also clarifies that “public use” does not include economic development for the purpose of enhancing tax revenues and restricts the government’s ability to extend eminent domain authority.
In his remarks, the governor also highlighted Texas’ healthy housing market compared to the rest of the nation, attributing the state’s strength to ongoing efforts that focus on job creation and a commitment to keep taxes low, uphold a predictable regulatory climate and mitigate frivolous lawsuits.
Earlier this month, Builder Magazine updated its 2009 “Healthiest Housing Markets” report and included four Texas cities in their Top Ten including Austin (No. 1), San Antonio (No. 2), Houston (No. 4) and Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 9). Compared to other states, like Nevada where one in every 62 mortgages foreclosed and California where one in every 144 mortgages foreclosed, Texas’ rate was one in every 838.
“The numbers offer a snapshot of the differences between us and some other states and show we are doing some things better, but our pride at that difference can’t overwhelm our compassion for those folks who have lost their homes, or their jobs,” said Gov. Perry. “That is why we cannot stop working to strengthen our state economy until every Texan who wants a job has a job. We are not immune to the global economic crisis, but I believe we have been inoculated by years of tough decisions and sound fiscal discipline.”