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Political Report

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The Legislative Report
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
The Perry campaign sees an opportunity to attract some Hispanic votes. Alejandro Garcia, Perry press secretary, said, "Hispanics tends to have very conservatives values and have a lot more in common with Republicans than Democrats." He added that the Perry campaign is saying, "Hey, we're out here. Listen to us. You may not know you're a Republican at heart."
Almost two-thirds of Hispanic voters in Texas consider themselves Democrats, but that leaves plenty who don't. In the 2006 gubernatorial race, about 750,000 Latino voters went to the polls. Perry received about 30 percent of these votes.
Values such as faith and family are important in the Hispanic community, and, along with social issues, there are bread-and-butter issues that they may share with the GOP.
Immigration might be a stumbling block. Perry said recently that he doesn't think the new Arizona law is appropriate for Texas. However, Republicans such as State rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball and Leo Berman of Tyler say they will push a similar proposal when the Legislature convenes in January.
In Washington on May 13th, Alan Bersin, the commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told a group of U.S. senators that two separate unmanned aircraft, or drones, could be flown over Texas.
Addressing Sen. John Cornyn and other senators in a subcommittee meeting, Bersin said the FAA was considering a certificate that would allow a drone to be flown over western Texas and that regulators were also thinking about allowing another unmanned aircraft to fly over water and to be based out of Corpus Christi. The land-based plane is called Predator B and the maritime versions have been dubbed Guardians.
When the Texas legislature convenes in January, the budget shortfall will likely be the first order of business. Lawmakers need to fill a $9.5 billion gap, and its likely that all agencies will be asked to make cuts, with the exception of education.
However, since it makes up almost half of the state's $81 billion general fund, that department may also be asked to tighten the belt.