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Another chance to slap the Governor

The Lege has had a few opportunities to express its opinion about Governor Perry and his “leadership” this session. Passing the unemployment insurance bill, inserting the budget amendment that would strip funding from the Texas Enterprise Fund in the event of a veto of the UI bill, the Office of State-Federal Relations bill, that sort of thing. The Senate will get another chance today when the dentist in charge of the SBOE, Don McLeroy, comes up for a confirmation hearing as the chair of that agency. TFN Insider has the details.

Don McLeroy’s appointment as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education finally gets a hearing in the Senate Nominations Committee on Wednesday (April 22). Gov. Rick Perry appointed McLeroy chairman in July 2007, after the last legislative session. So the Senate still has to confirm his appointment.

It’s unusual for the Senate to reject a governor’s appointment. Even so, state lawmakers aren’t happy with a state board that has become increasingly dysfunctional (and embarrassing) since the Bryan dentist’s elevation to chairman. The board has disregarded established procedures, ignored state law, defied the Legislature and lurched from one “culture war” battle to the next. Most recently, of course, Chairman McLeroy led the board in opening the state’s science curriculum to creationist attacks on evolution, wildly declaring: “I disagree with all these experts! Somebody has to stand up to these experts!”

The Nominations Committee will meet 30 minutes after the Senate adjourns for the day on Wednesday. The hearing, which will include testimony on other nominations as well, will be in the Senate chamber at the Capitol. Those who want to testify can register at the hearing.

Unless you’re already at the Capitol it’s probably too late to take any action to influence the committee. You can tune in to the Senate’s live video feed to watch the hearings, though, which ought to be more interesting than the usual Senate business – looks like McLeroy is just now getting into the hot seat. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this one.

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