Editor’s note: This afternoon Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scheduled to give his State of the State Speech to Texas lawmakers. Rushing from the Mansion to the Dome, he might not have time this morning to read our thoughts. But just in case, we’ve devised a wish list of proposals we’d like to hear him make. We doubt he will, given his track record and his general disinclination for showing contrition.
1. We just found out that we have a $5 billion surplus in the state coffers, compared to a $27 billion shortfall two years ago. I was wrong when as recently as two weeks ago I advocated for lawmakers to make further cuts. Rather, lawmakers should busy themselves reviewing what the unintended or more egregious consequences were from the budget cuts they passed previously and attempt to address them.
2. The legislature should pass, and I will then sign legislation against texting while driving, even though I vetoed such measures in the past, because I was wrong.
3. I was wrong in the past when I supported many of the proposals that allowed lawmakers to meddle further with how public universities deliver education to students, especially those proposals seeking to tie funding to outcome-based results. In the future, I will signal my willingness to veto any bills of that ilk and rather support ones that recognize that measurements of an institution of higher learning’s productivity is impossible with just one or two metrics.
4. I will show unprecedented attention to the possible consequences of the Fisher v. UT case. I was wrong in the past to ignore the litigation just because I couldn’t get any political mileage out of it with my conservative base. I instead encourage lawmakers to pass “what-if” legislation that will help ease the jolt to UT admissions if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the University.
5. I was wrong to act like a cavalier Cowboy in my pursuit of an abortion-free Texas. Planned Parenthood and quality health providers like it have a place in the women’s health program, which now functions as a shell of its former self.
6. I was wrong to call myself pro-life while signing an unprecedented number of death warrants for inmates in Texas prisons — several of whom were executed on less than completely solid evidence. Their lives cannot be returned to them, but in the interest of protecting future innocents, I ask lawmakers to prohibit prosecutors from using shaky conviction methods, like “snitch” testimony, to convict men on trial for their lives. In this day and age we have the technology and the capability to make convictions 100 percent definitive, so doing anything less is morally indefensible.
7. I was wrong to run for president. I will not do so again.