Saturday, June 16, 2007

Burka: Probation bill veto may have been backlash for independent investigation at TYC

Paul Burka thinks the veto of HB 3200 and several other criminal justice reform bills may have been payback for insisting on giving the Texas Youth Commission a new board in 2009 instead of letting it be run by a Governor-picked "Czar." Wrote Burka:
Yet another battle between Perry and the Legislature occurred over the scandal-ridden Texas Youth Commission and how to reform it. The Legislature refused to grant Perry his request for a "czar" to run the agency. The three leaders of the investigation and the drive for reform--Juan Hinojosa, Jerry Madden, and John Whitmire--were hit with a total of seven vetoes (three for Whitmire, two for Hinojosa, two for Madden; one of the bills was jointly sponsored by Whitmire and Madden).

The final tally: Seventeen vetoes, more than one-third of the total, were used to kill bills that were authored or sponsored by twenty members who took positions on major issues that were unfriendly to Governor Perry.
That explanation makes more sense to me than any policy critique offered for HB 3200's veto. But if Burka's speculation is accurate, I sure wish the Governor had taken out his petty wrath on a less important bill where it wouldn't invite so many unintended consequences.

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