End of Legislative Session
My fellow Texans:
A number of us of differing philosophies may argue whether this legislative session was a success. But for me, it comes down to a simple measure: We did what we set out to do. We kept the trust by keeping our promises.
We promised we would lower homeowners insurance rates, and we delivered. We said we would reform medical malpractice laws to ensure patient access to quality health care, and we delivered. We told you that, despite tough economic times, we would not raise the price of government in order to balance the budget, and we delivered on that promise too.
Because of lower homeowners insurances rates, lawsuit reforms that will keep doctors practicing medicine, and increased investments in job creation, public education and vital transportation projects, Texas has a stronger foundation for a prosperous future.
Because we had the discipline to rebuild the budget from scratch, examining every cent we spend and restraining the growth of government, Texas is one of the few states in the nation to balance its budget without higher taxes.
We mirrored the kind of budgetary discipline you and your family have chosen during slow economic times. We set priorities. Separated wants from needs and restructured government to do more for its money.
We protected your pocketbook while protecting vital programs and increasing funding for public education and health care. In this state budget, we increased funding for health services by $1.1 billion over our last budget. Enrollment for the state's Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, will continue for families at 200 percent of poverty with increased accountability to minimize fraud. And we established funding for more Federally Qualified Health Centers statewide increasing access to health care.
No, it hasn't always been easy. At times, it's even seemed a little messy, but results matter most. And all Texans can know that on issue after issue, we kept our word and did what we said we would do.