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Perry Open to Expanding Special Session Agenda

Gov. Rick Perry told reporters Friday that he is leaving open the possibility of adding more items to the agenda of the special legislative session, but he wants to first see specific proposals that have a chance of passing.

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry is leaving the door open for more items on the agenda of the newly called special legislative session, but he said Friday he wants lawmakers to bring him specific proposals that have a chance of passage before putting more on their plate.

“We’re not going to be adding things to the call just for the sake of adding things to the call,” Perry said. “We want to be relatively assured that we’re going to be successful.”

The governor, speaking to reporters at an event highlighting the state’s emergency response capabilities, was asked if he would consider adding to the agenda a fix for the troubled Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, or TWIA, the state’s insurer of last resort for coastal residents.

Perry said that was “certainly possible,” but added that he wanted lawmakers to “get a little closer to what I would consider to be an agreement” before he’ll add the item to the agenda.

While the governor signaled it was “still a little premature” to speculate about expanding the session beyond redistricting — the only issue eligible for action right now — he said other priorities may soon emerge.

“There may be something, whether it’s on the budget, or whether it’s another piece of legislation that ends up being vetoed, or line-item vetoed, that we want to put back on the call and say, hey, you know we didn’t agree with this, let’s see if we can find a way to fix it,” Perry said.

The governor was predictably coy about his own political agenda. Asked if he was considering running for re-election or another bid for the presidency, Perry pointed to the ongoing session. Though he has previously said he would make an announcement in June, the lawmaking activity might delay that.

“I’m not thinking about anything past the next 30 days,” he said. “We’ve got this legislative session in front of us and some very important issues that are out there.”

Perry called the special session on Monday. Special sessions can last no longer than 30 days, but the governor can call as many as he wants.

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