Quotes of the Week

Frazier, Napolitano, Gutierrez, Hinojosa, Peña, Whitmire, Zerwas, Shapiro, Eissler, and Boehner

Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, on the governor's opposition to requiring police officers to check immigration status in Texas: "The governor continues to oppose demanding peace officers inquire, just as he opposes measures that prevent them from asking."

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on why some lawmakers continue to bash the federal government's border policy, to an audience at the University of Texas at El Paso: "It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control. This statement — often made only to score political points — is just plain wrong."

The Texas Democratic Party's Anthony Gutierrez, on the new Hispanic Republican Conference, to The Associated Press: "We need leaders with the courage to fight for us, not a Republican club pandering to us while its members stand right alongside the very people attacking our community."

Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, on metal detectors at the Capitol, quoted in the Austin American-Statesman: "If someone wants to shoot a senator or a lawmaker or someone else, they can do it after we leave the building at night. All this security is more of an inconvenience to the general public than anything, in my opinion."

Rep. Aaron Peña, R-Edinburg, to The Associated Press on Tyler Republican Rep. Leo Berman's proposed legislation that would deny illegal immigrants the right to sue legal residents of the state of Texas: "It allows people to treat other people like animals, and it invites chaos."

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, interrupting a presentation detailing proposed budget cuts to state health services during a Finance Committee hearing: "Mr. Chairman, I enjoyed the math, but that's not putting a face and an impact on the decisions that we have to make."

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, in the Houston Chronicle: "We saved these monies to be used on a 'rainy day.' Most of us would agree this is one of those rainy days. I'm all for really starting off with an austere sort of stark budget, but I think to leave any substantial amount of money in that rainy-day fund is a disservice to the citizens."

State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, in the Houston Chronicle: "One of those burdens that we have placed on our school districts is that they cannot decrease your salary. They can't have furlough days. It's not allowed in the law. The only option is to fire. We need to give them the ability to lower teacher salaries."

State Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, on public schools and the tight budget: "Instead of just adding on, we need to start replacing things that don't work with things that do work."

U.S. Speaker John Boehner, answering a question about his personal habits on Fox News Sunday: "It's a legal product. I choose to smoke. Leave me alone."

Perry, Castro, Zaffirini, Wentworth, Pickett, Van de Putte, Scott, Wood, Dewhurst, and Lockyer

Gov. Rick Perry on how he sees the budget deficit, during his State of the State address at the Capitol: "Now the mainstream media and big-government interest groups are doing their best to convince us that we're facing a budget Armageddon. Texans don't believe it, and they shouldn't, because it's not true."

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, on the governor's charge that Doggett has held up federal funding for education: "His jibe says less about the state of the state and more about his own state of denial."

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, on the governor's address: "The fact is that 2011 is Rick Perry's 'Madoff moment.' You see, the governor years ago established a system that really is a Ponzi scheme."

Senate Higher Education Chairwoman Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, on Gov. Rick Perry's $10,000 degree challenge: "There may be a way to do it. Perhaps at a community college or a small regional college. Your emerging research universities aren't going to do it, and your national research universities probably can't do it."

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, on the legislatively mandated practice of setting aside public school tuition to fund need-based financial aid: "We should never have done this. This is abusive on our part."

Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, on losing his position as chairman of the House Transportation Committee following the announcement of Texas House committee assignments on Tuesday, in the El Paso Times: "I've been asked to do this so that the Republicans can have the chairs. Whether they are honorary or not, they get them."

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, on how her career as a pharmacist has helped shape her support for abortion rights: "I am Catholic, but I am also a pharmacist. I tell you, nothing is more heartbreaking than a women coming to the pharmacy … usually in her 30s, usually with three or four children, with that look of desperation in her eyes, and to look at me and [ask], 'Is there anything I can take to bring down my period?'"

State Education Commissioner Robert Scott on the difficulty of determining what items he would ask to be revived in the final state budget for public education: "It's like asking a guy on the operating table whether he wants his heart or his lungs back."

Randall "Buck" Wood, lawyer for Democratic Rep. Donna Howard, during closing arguments in the election contest filed by Republican Dan Neil, who is less than a dozen votes down: "I think Mr. Neil, with his background in football, knows that at the end of the game, if somebody's got 23 points and the other person's got 24 points, the person with 23 points loses."

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in the Los Angeles Times: "A lot of the things we are doing arguably aren't priorities for the people of Texas. People could stake me and Gov. Perry on the ground and torture us, and we still would not raise taxes."

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, in the same article: "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar, and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore."

Sen. Kevin Eltife, in extended form...

The Tyler Republican has reached some conclusions after sitting through testimony in the Senate Finance Committee. They've already gone over health and human services, public education, and some higher education. But in the middle of Texas A&M Chancellor Mike McKinney's testimony, Eltife went on a jag:

"In my opinion the cuts are not acceptable. Everyone's done an admirable job of cutting expenses and doing their best. As Chairman Ogden said, it is incumbent on us to make those decisions, but we have to find more revenue. We have to use the Rainy Day Fund.

"Businesses set aside money for a reason. In down times, they use their fund balances. I see it all the time. Do you use it all? Of course not. Do you soften the blow of cuts? Of course you do. You also have to find additional revenue.

"Sen. Duncan is right: We have an investment in higher ed, in public education, in health and human services. We have an investment in Texans. We have got to find the revenue on this side of the table to make these cuts less of a burden on Texans.

"There's no other way to do this. We can dance around it all we want and talk about, "Oh, is it revenue? Is it a tax? Is it this? Is it that?" We have to find additional revenue. We spread the pain with cuts, revenue, and the Rainy Day Fund. Any other idea in this building is just crazy to me."