Closing thoughts on the 82nd Legislature

William James Gerlich

Editors note: As the 82nd legislative session wound down Tuesday and Wednesday, The Daily Texan’s William James Gerlich collected final thoughts from legislators and leadership on the successes and failures of the session.

“This has been a tough session, and this has been the first time we have had such a large shortfall as we have. Every one of you, whether you were Republican or Democrat, worked your heart out for your districts and for your vision of Texas. When the people of Texas know what we’ve accomplished in tough times, they will be appreciative.”
-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on his pride in legislators.

“Texans have been well-served by representatives who spend money cautiously during this special legislative session.”
-Speaker of the House Joe Straus on the session’s fiscal conservatism.

“The greatest enemy is not terrorists … our greatest enemy is ourselves. The seeds of anarchy and tyranny reside in our own hearts.”
-Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, in a closing speech before the House on Wednesday.

“The difficulty of getting through and getting these major issues passed was what surprised me the most about this special session. They ended up in conference committees, and we eventually came up with good legislation.”
-Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, about the challenge of getting bills passed.

“I don’t regret [the filibuster] because it gave an opportunity for Texans to understand what was happening in public education school funding and the opportunity for them to weigh in on it. I think their weighing-in had an impact. When Donna Howard successfully added her amendment in the House side which would add $2.2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund, it got a widespread reaction of support, but it was stripped, which saddened me. It’s an unfortunate reflection of who [legislators] are listening to. I think in the long run there will be a reaction to that, so if there’s a good thing that came out of this special session, I hope that it is that Texans paid attention and will hold accountable those who are elected to serve them that are not necessarily doing that.”
-Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, about her filibuster that forced the Legislature into a special session.

“Ultimately the measures we have worked together to complete this session will keep Texas a model of good, efficient and limited governance that other states and the federal government should follow.”
-Gov. Rick Perry in a press release about the overall success of the session.