Texas Governor Rick Perry:
An Inventory of Governor Rick Perry Legislative Affairs Office Records at the Texas State Archives, 2001-2003, 2005, 2009-2011, bulk 2001-2003
The governor of Texas is the chief executive officer of the state, elected by the citizens every four years. The duties and responsibilities of the governor include serving as commander-in-chief of the state's military forces; convening special sessions of the legislature for specific purposes; delivering to the legislature at the beginning of each regular session a report on the condition of the state, an accounting of all public money under the governor's control, a recommended biennial budget, an estimate of the amounts of money required to be raised by taxation, and any recommendations he deems necessary; signing or vetoing bills passed by the legislature; and executing the laws of the state. The governor can grant reprieves and commutations of punishment and pardons, upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and revoke conditional pardons. He appoints numerous state officials (with the consent of the Senate), fills vacancies in state and district offices (except vacancies in the legislature), calls special elections to fill vacancies in the legislature, fills vacancies in the United States Senate until an election can be held, and serves as ex officio member of several state boards.
The office of governor was first established by the Constitution of 1845 and superseded the office of president of the Republic of Texas. The position now exists under authority of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of 1876 and Texas Government Code, Chapter 401. To be elected governor, a person must be at least 30 years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of Texas for at least five years preceding the election. In 1972, the term of office was extended from two to four years, effective in 1975. Since 1856 the governor has had the use of the Governor's Mansion.
In 2014 there were 277.4 full-time equivalent employees in the Office of the Governor. Nineteen divisions outside of the Executive Office assist the governor in carrying out his functions: Scheduling and Advance; Office of the First Lady; Administration; Appointments; Legislative; Communications; Budget, Planning, and Policy; General Counsel; Internal Audit; Constituent Communication; Criminal Justice; Economic Development and Tourist Development; Governor's Commission for Women; Office of Financial Accountability; Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities; Texas Film Commission; Texas Music Office; Texas Workforce Investment Council; and Office of State-Federal Relations.
Legislative Affairs Office (occasionally referred to as Legislative) advises the governor on legislative matters and assists in developing and promoting the governor's legislative goals. The Legislative Affairs Office also acts as the governor's liaison to the state legislature. Staff members of the Legislative Affairs Office included: Ken Armbrister (director from 2007 to 2015) and Katie Lawhorn (executive assistant). Patricia Shipton served as director of the Legislative Affairs Office from 2001 to 2004 and Dan Shelley in 2005.
(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); Office of the Governor, accessed on June 3, 2015 and the Texas Governor's Office website during Governor Perry's term, accessed via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine on June 3, 2015.)
Rick Perry served as governor of Texas from December 20, 2000, to January 20, 2015.
James Richard "Rick" Perry was the 47th governor of Texas. He was born on March 4, 1950, in Haskell, Texas to Joseph Ray Perry and Amelia June (Holt) Perry. In 1972, he received a bachelor's degree in animal science from Texas A&M University. Perry then served as a pilot with the United States Air force from 1972 to 1977 and was discharged in 1977 with the rank of captain. Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives (District 64) as a Democrat in 1984 and served until 1990. He was named one of the 10 most effective lawmakers by the Dallas Morning News in 1989. In the same year, Perry changed his party allegiance, becoming a Republican. Perry left the House of Representatives to serve two terms as Commissioner of Agriculture, from 1990 to 1998. He was a member of the U.S. Trade Representative's Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on International Trade; the Executive Committee, Southern U.S. Trade Association; and president of the Southern Association of Trade Departments of Agriculture (from 1992 to 1993). He was elected lieutenant governor in 1998, taking office in January of 1999. Perry became governor to complete the term of Governor George W. Bush who left the office in December 2000 to become president of the United States. Perry was elected governor of Texas first on November 5, 2002, and then reelected on November 7, 2006 and November 2, 2010.
As governor, he focused primarily on issues of economy, education and security, especially along the Texas-Mexico border. Throughout his governorship, Perry espoused fiscal conservatism, opposing a state income tax and focusing on job growth and business incentives. In the field of healthcare, Perry signed several bills governing abortion procedures and funding. In 2007, Perry issued an executive order mandating that all Texas girls receive the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine. The order was overturned by the state legislature the following August. As the longest serving Texas governor, Perry capitalized on the main power assigned to him by the Texas Constitution, appointing the majority of sitting members of every state board or commission.
On August 13, 2011, Perry announced he would be running for president in 2012. However, after a controversial campaign and a low showing in the Iowa caucuses, Perry dropped out of the presidential race on January 19, 2012. Perry later ran for president again, announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on June 4, 2015. He officially suspended his campaign on September 11, 2015.
On August 15, 2014, Perry was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges for abuse of power. The indictment specifically included two charges: abuse of official capacity (a first-degree felony) and coercion of a public servant (a third-degree felony). Perry was accused of coercing Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (who had been convicted of drunk driving) to resign by threatening to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit, a group of state public corruption prosecutors. Perry was officially cleared of all charges in February 2016.
Perry married Anita Thigpen in 1982. They have two children, Griffin and Sydney.
(Sources include: Texas State Directory, 2014; the Texas Governor's Office website during Governor Perry's term at http://www.governor.state.tx.us, accessed on December 22, 2014; the Texas Governor's Office website during Governor Perry's term at https://wayback.archive-it.org/414/*/http:/www.governor.state.tx.us/homeland, dated November 17, 2014; Jeff Zeleny and Michael D. Shear, "Perry to End Bid for Presidency," New York Times, January 19, 2012, accessed on January 19, 2012; Theodore Schleifer, "Rick Perry drops out of 2016 presidential race - CNNPolitics.com," CNN, September 11, 2015, accessed on September 13, 2015; Benjy Sarlin, "Rick Perry indicted for abuse of power by grand jury," MSNBC, August 12, 2014, accessed on August 17, 2014; and Eugene Scott, "Court dismisses one criminal charge against Perry," CNN, July 24, 2015, accessed on July 26, 2015; and Carrie Dann, "Texas Court Dismisses Second Felony Charge Against Rick Perry", February 24, 2016, accessed on April 8, 2016.)
The Legislative Affairs Office advised the Texas governor Rick Perry on legislative matters and assisted in developing and promoting the governor's legislative goals. The Legislative Affairs Office also acted as the governor's liaison to the state legislature. Records are memoranda, bill descriptions, correspondence with legislators, digital images, draft bills, bill tracking documents, notes on bills signed and bills vetoed, briefs of meetings with legislators and bill signing ceremonies, a Governor's budget report, mailing lists, legislative member directory, and related legislative records. Dates range from 2001-2003, 2005, 2009-2011 with the bulk of records dating from 2001 to 2003. Prominent topics include bills and legislative records relating to the Texas Health Reinsurance System, prescription drug benefit plans, the Texas Education Code, and reductions in government revenue, among others. Several records were created by or mention Ken Armbrister and/or Patricia Shipton.
All records for this office are electronic. Formats of the original electronic files include word processing files (.doc and .pdf), spreadsheets (.xlsx), graphic images (.jpg and .gif), emails (.msg), and an XML file (.xps). Digital files presented for public use will generally be PDF for text documents and .jpg for images. Files in their original format are available on request, restrictions may apply.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
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Electronic records described in this finding aid are part of the Texas Digital Archive, available online at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/tx-gov-perry/.
(Identify the item), Texas Governor Rick Perry Legislative Affairs Office records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 2015/117
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Office of the Governor on January 29, 2015.
Processed by Jessica Tucker, May 2016
Other Finding Aids
Electronic records described in this finding aid that are part of the Texas Digital Archive, available at http://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/.
Detailed Description of the Records