Governor Perry Visits Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/15/03

Governor Perry Visits Lubbock

"Economic downturns are usually temporary, tax hikes never are," said Governor Rick Perry.

On Saturday, he visited Lubbock to speak out against using new taxes as a life preserver for Texas' fiscal distress.

"I am delivering grim news," said Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Last month, she projected that the Lone Star State will have to make do with almost $10 billion less next year.

"There are some out there that want to raise taxes," said Perry. The governor says that the government, not taxpayers, should have to burden the brunt of the budget shortfall.

"Every dollar spent by the government, every line item, has to be analyzed and justified," he said.

Meanwhile, on the South Plains, Covenant Health Care has laid off 148 employees. The governor is attributing part of the blame on out of control litigation.

"One of those reasons is because of medical malpractice issues that we've seen in the state of Texas," he said.

Perry hopes to push through legislation capping medical malpractice lawsuits at $250,000. He also advocates using state money to invest in bio-tech. Two initiatives aimed at revitalizing the health care industry.

"We can help create jobs in the state of Texas rather than you (reporter) standing there saying, 'governor, what are we going to do about these jobs lost out of healthcare,'" he said. "My goal is for us to be creating jobs and economic opportunity as well as quality of life issues in the health care arena."

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