Perry Vetoes Two-Dozen Bills, Cuts Integrity Unit Funding

AUSTIN (June 15, 2013)--Gov. Rick Perry has vetoed 24 bills and has removed some parts of the state budget approved by lawmakers including a Texas version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have helped ensure employers provide women statewide with equal pay for equal work.

Perry also used his line-item veto powers to cut $7.5 million in funding for the state's Public Integrity Unit, after Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who heads it, was convicted of drunk driving and then refused to resign.

Critics accused Perry of trying to cut funding for investigators who are looking into the actions of his office.

Texans for Public Justice filed a criminal complaint with the Travis County district attorney on Friday, alleging that the mere threat of a veto was potential criminal offense.

Lehmberg must now decide whether to use local fund to keep the unit operating.

If Lehmberg had resigned, Perry would have appointed her replacement.

Perry also struck language seeking more-efficient enforcement of ethics violations by public officials under a law reauthorizing the Texas Ethics Commission.

The governor has until Sunday to veto bills, but said in a statement these were his final decisions.


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