Perry Vetoes Texting While Driving Bill, 22 Others

   AUSTIN (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry vetoed 23 bills Friday, including legislation that would have outlawed sending or reading text messages while driving.

Lawmakers approved the texting ban last month, but Perry called it an “overreach” and “government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”

Perry also struck a handful of spending lines in the state budget.

He signed several bills, including much of the next two-year state budget. That budget spent $50.4 billion in state money, but lawmakers are still wrestling with education spending in a special session.

“Our state faced significant challenges as we began the legislative session in January, and I am proud Texas will continue to live within its means while encouraging job creation and maintaining essential services,” Perry said in a statement with the announcement of his decisions. “There is still some work to be done by lawmakers, but I am confident the bills I have signed will strengthen our economic momentum moving forward.”

Former House Speaker Tom Craddick had pushed the texting while driving ban, touting it as a public-safety measure. But the bill triggered more than a half-hour of debate on the House floor with opponents arguing the bill would amount to criminalizing drivers simply for receiving a text message while driving.

San Antonio and El Paso already have laws forbidding texting while driving, and at least 30 other states have enacted similar statewide bans.

“The keys to dissuading drivers of all ages from texting while driving are information and education,” Perry said in his veto statement. “I recommend additional education on this issue in driving safety and driver’s education courses, public service ads, and announcements, and I encourage individuals and organizations that testified in favor of the anti-texting language included in this bill to work with state and local leaders to educate the public of these dangers.”

Perry also vetoed a measure that would have allowed candidates for public office to correct campaign finance filings without penalty within 14 days after a sworn complaint has been filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Another vetoed bill would have allowed transit buses in certain urban counties to drive on highway shoulders during peak traffic hours. Perry said it would have endangered motorists by not leaving an emergency lane.

In total, Perry vetoed 24 bills, including an internet sales tax measure that he axed last month.

Perry set the known record for vetoes by a Texas governor in 2000, when he infuriated the Legislature by vetoing a record 83 bills. He killed so many bills the night of June 17, 2001, the final day of bill consideration, that politicos dubbed it the “Father’s Day Massacre.”

That was shortly after he had ascended to the governorship, when Republican George W. Bush resigned to become president.

Four years later, in 2005, Perry issued 20 vetoes, the lowest number in a regular session since 1975.

Bush had far fewer vetoes during his tenure as governor. His highest total for a legislative session was 38 in 1997.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

APTV-06-17-11 1943CDT

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  • bm

    Leave it to Perry to endanger our kids by not signing the texting bill.I hope your surgery is painful and the doctor is drunk!

    • feral grognard

      Public Puberty like this comment is society’s nanny state permission slip for uniting the altered reality of no physical accountability and the absence of moral and psychological responsibility in presumptions that the idea of human choice and self sufficiency were mere words for being too inept and mediocre to actually teach and do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons.

  • Gumbyu Rules

    Gov. Rick Perry, you sir are a total and complete idiot!

    This bill is/was not about government overreach. It is/was about safety to all drivers in Texas. Safety for all drivers who are injured or killed by the other idiots who are texting and even carrying on a conversation on their cell phones while driving.

    i just have to wonder how much highway driving you personally do. Is it you or a chauffeur driving?

    • re: Gumbyu Rules

      The bill was completely bogus and completely unenforceable. You could be ticketed even if someone sent you a text?, how fair is that??? The problem is distracted drivers…not texting specific. Am I texting? I looking at my navigation? …am I changing the song on my iPod? or am I messing with another million or so Apps on my phone??? Eliminating texting wouldn’t of even scratched the surface of the problem.

      • Donald K Day

        getting a transaction register for the date and time of an accident is easy enough. so enforcement is no problem. using cell phones, texting, navigators etc. are distractions. the senate wanted to see Rick’s reaction. so now all the liability lawyers are going to go after cell companies for personal records to prove the driver was impaired when the accident occurred. Price of insurance will go up. Cool

  • Oh please

    So we have a law that tickets even the passengers in the back seat for not wearing seat belts, but it is OK to text and drive? Does Rick Perry even know what he is doing? I think Rick Perry is related to Sarah Palin.

    • Carl

      get your head out of your a$$ we have to many laws anyway and we have lost our rights to take care of ourselves,

      • Oh please

        I think you need to get your head out of your a$$. Regardless of where you stand on seat belt laws and texting issues, you SHOULD see the problem here. Since you can’t, I’ll try to explain it to you. If you believe the government should regulate behavior, then both should be illegal. If you believe in freedom of choice, both activities should be legal. Now here is the REAL problem: If both of these issues come close to the fine line between freedom of choice and public safety, which do you think should be against the law? Look at the question again, IF one MUST CHOOSE between one or the other, which would you think would be the more reasonable choice between public safety and personal responsibility to choose? One is currently on the books (safety belts) and the other is not (texting). I believe the original seat belt laws might have been passed before Perry, but I do know a lot of revisions have been passed under Perry’s watch. If you still don’t see the problem here, I guess your head is wedged pretty good in yours (or maybe it is wedged in Rick Perry’s).

    • Alan Lambert

      He’s the gov. He has a driver to do his driving. Wonder if his driver does. Think about it.

  • Pete

    Maybe we should repeal our DWI laws so Perry can “recommend additional education” on that issue as well. Would everyone who voted for this menace to society please explain why you did so?

    • Carl

      We should repeal this law also because it is not inforced as it should be and thus costing the tax payers to much in the first place

  • RR

    Information and education hasnt gotten people to stop drinking and driving, we have laws that punish people for driving drunk and endangering everyone else on the road. I really dont understand why he would veto the texting bill, it is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. My family has to be on the road with these idiots who have no regard for anyone, it would be nice if they could be punished for their stupid behavior.

  • te


  • No Texting

    Time to take these idiots into our own hands. If everyone would simply lay on the horn when behind/next to a texter, they would at least get the message!
    I hope Perry wins the GOP nomination-that would signal a shoe-in for Obama!

  • Rick Perry - CurlTalk

    […] the development of the fetus prior to receiving an abortion. Cuz that's not an overreach AT ALL. Way to be Perry. Way to be. __________________ CG/Mod CG (soap bars) since 8/12/08 3A/2C […]

  • wayne

    if someone killed one of his family members , wionder if he would thinl texting is still ok what a jerk not to meation just plain stupied

  • Carl

    Perry was right to veto this bill as it is not the governments responsibility to make laws for you to protect yourself from yourself. It is the individuals responsibility to protect themselves with out government intervention.

    • Linda

      It’s not about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting the other drivers who are hit because someone is texting and not paying attention to the road. Do you think it is ok to drink and drive? Because they say the reaction is the same for a drunk drivier as it is for someone who is texting.

    • Nobody

      Let get rid of everything that might hurt someone better stay in bed under the sheets we have enough laws that are not enforced way to go GOV now help us with the illegal imigrates that are causing alot more problem than texting if someone does something illegal lock them up,send them home, fine them hard make a peolple aware of what thier actions could cost them control the laws we have now and even do away with some like seat belt law it should be a grown ups own actions to wear or not wear only hurting yourself Oh I guess that some people think it would be OK for the Goverment to say what color underwear you wear

  • Rod Brown

    If that bill would save a life it would be worth it. I wander if he would let his driver text while they are driving?

    • nobody

      This would be like gun laws I have not seen just a gun hurt one it is always the person behind the weapon just like it would in texting take controll of your own action and by the way most of the people I see texting and driving are kids how about mom and dad take control of their kids and not ask the Government to do it for them like they have in the school systems educate yourself and your own.

  • Alan Lambert

    He needs to start driving so he can see the results of driving while texting. How many recks are really due to this factor . we may never know , but it more than we need. Insurance companies need to jump in and do their part

  • Spot

    Aren’t most laws a “government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”?

  • Alal Lambert

    Ok everybody. Lets cleanup the brain farts here.
    Use your brain when it comes down to it would you really drive while texting at the same time. You are the ones that make driving hazardous to EVERYONE else

  • RussP

    So I’m still required to protect myself with a seat belt which is enforced with the costly “click it or ticket” campaign but he vetos a bill which would help protect me from the stupidity of others. Way to go “Slick Rick”!

  • Linda

    You can tell who the liberals are by the comments on this site. They want the government to tell us how to wipe our…………

    • RussP

      Don’t think wanting some protection from those among us with absolutely no commen sense makes me a liberal. I ‘m actually am considered very conservative by most Since we now have drivers who wrongly think they have the skill to drive while paying liitle or no attention to what’s on the road around them, we’ll need more of these silly laws as we move into the future. It’s why so many states have already passed them.

      When people were smart enough to wipe their own ….., they also knew to keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on their driving. Sadly, those days seem to be gone.

  • fred

    Can someone tell me why then Perry is forcing his religious beliefs on us with his other decsions? that is the ultimate form of Micromanagement

    • surething

      bravo well said

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  • Elmer

    You do not need a no-texting law if you already have a careless driving law. If a policeman believes your texting constitutes careless driving he can write you a ticket.

    • RussP

      Unfortunately our courts now interpret the laws based on technicalities, not intent. Someone being found guilty of a general charge like careless driving is almost non existant; the judges seem to want a specific violation such as speeding, using a cell phone in a school zone, etc.

  • luckyjimbeaux

    Perry is the only politician I know of who actively tries to get back at his few remaining loyal constituents. He has single-handedly set the legislative process back months, and wasted countless taxpayer dollars, while simultaneously softening our southern border. What a disappointment he turned out to be!

  • DG

    Let’s see.

    Seat belt law for front seat – affects only me, has support from insurance companies that give to the Perry campaign.

    Texting while driving law – affects those that I run over or into, does not have support from insurance companies that support Perry campaign.

    Which law is really an overreach? (as Perry put’s it)

    • Oh please

      Don’t forget that now the law has been revised to force people in the back seat to have a seat belt on as well. Apparently even that is worse than texting while driving.

  • SqueakyVoice

    Religion is the original Nanny State.

  • A Pryor

    I consider myself a conservative, and I still believe texting and driving is way stupid.You have to remember that cell companies have huge lobbies that contribute to political campaigns. Money trumps common sense, and safety everytime. It is not about individual rights being trampled, and you are not going to win the “texting while driving”, “smoking in public places” argument using logic and common sense. It is simple economics.

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