City Controller Annise Parker called on Governor Rick Perry today to give Houston its fair share of federal stimulus dollars controlled by the state government, and to open up the process for deciding how the dollars are spent.
“Governor Perry’s priorities have not always been Houstonians’ priorities,” said Parker. “From the failed Trans-Texas Corridor, to threatening to turn away a portion of federal stimulus dollars intended for Texas, we’ve seen that the Governor’s priorities do not always help Houston.”
As an example, Parker cited a move this week by the Texas Department of Transportation, controlled by Perry, to shut local leaders out of the decision making process for spending Texas’ share of transportation funds from the stimulus program. TXDOT was supposed to vote today on allocating the funds, but legislators from the House committee overseeing Texas stimulus funds forced a delay in the vote to allow more input.
“Houston’s representatives in Austin need to have input in how these dollars are spent in order to make sure that Houston gets its fair share of funds,” said Parker. “In these tough economic times, we need to put these dollars to work creating good jobs in Houston – in health care, public education and transportation projects.”
“Frankly,” Parker continued, “Perry’s office has shown its willingness to railroad through his agenda. We have to make sure our representatives are at the table too.”
Parker said she will meet with members of the legislature in Austin next week about the use of state-controlled stimulus funds.
Parker concluded: “When Governor Perry finally accepted the federal money, he warned the President that he ‘would work to ensure that [Texas] citizens receive their fair share.’ Governor Perry should be on notice we’re fighting for Houstonians’ fair share as well.”