POLITICS

Rick Perry's Legislative Scorecard Contains Six Bills Designated 'Emergency' Items

May 31, 2011 | Updated Jul 31, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry, who last week said he is weighing a bid for the 2012 Republican nomination for president, designated six pieces of legislation as "emergency" items for 2011 in the second-biggest state.

The designation put those measures - many which were priorities of conservative activists - on a fast track for the biennial legislative session in Texas that began in January and formally ended on Monday.

But lawmakers will return for a special session on Tuesday to work on a stalled school finance measure tied to the state budget, and Perry could ask them to revisit proposals that died during the regular session.

Here's a look at how Perry's priorities fared during the regular session.

1. Sanctuary cities

The legislation: Prohibits local governments from banning law enforcement officers from asking about the immigration status of people who are lawfully detained or arrested.

The outcome: dead. The bill's Senate sponsor, Tommy Williams, said he expects Perry to add it to a list of items to be discussed in a special session.

2. Eminent domain

The legislation: Seeks to protect property owners by cracking down on low-ball offers by state and local governments seeking to obtain private property and allows property owners in some cases to buy back their land if it is not used.

The outcome: Perry signed the bill into law.

3. Voter ID

The legislation: Requires Texans to show photo identification to vote.

The outcome: Perry signed the bill into law.

4. Balanced budget resolution

The legislation: Urges Congress to submit to states an amendment to the U.S. Constitution calling for a balanced federal budget.

The outcome: Passed by Legislature; sent to Perry.

5. Pre-abortion sonograms

The legislation: Requires women seeking an abortion to first get a sonogram.

The outcome: Perry signed the bill into law.

6. Lawsuit reform

The legislation: Seeks to crack down on frivolous lawsuits by penalizing lawsuit losers.

The outcome: Perry signed the bill into law.

(Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan. Edited by Peter Bohan)

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