Rick Perry made at least two things clear in his veto orgy on Friday: the wars on women’s rights and strong public schools continue in Texas.
Gov. Perry vetoed HB 950, the Lily Ledbetter Act, which would have helped stop wage discrimination against women in the state. Just days earlier, Gov. Perry asked state lawmakers in the current special legislative session to pass abortion measures that put government between women and their doctors. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, author of the Lily Ledbetter Act, got it right:
“Once again our governor has made women’s health and women’s rights a target in order to bolster his own political standing.”
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, also got it right:
“These are political decisions that are part of a political war, and women are – at best – the collateral damage in that war.”
Gov. Perry also vetoed HB 2836, which would have — among other things — required the Texas Education Agency to study whether the public school curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education have become too long, complicated and unwieldy. In fact, they have — largely as a result of efforts by state board members to insert their own personal and political agendas into the standards (especially for social studies). The bill would have also provided relief from the state’s high-stakes testing — testing that is based on those politicized curriculum standards.
Far-right groups are applauding these and other Perry vetoes, of course. They have an ally in the Governor’s Mansion. Supporters of women’s rights and public education don’t.