AUSTIN - Sunshine and blue skies welcomed Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst during inauguration ceremonies which began at noon, January 21, 2003, on the front steps of the Capitol.
In attendance were the families of the new Governor and Lieutenant Governor, outgoing Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff, and new Speaker of the House Tom Craddick. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas Thomas R. Phillips administered the Oaths of Office before a crowd of approximately 3,500 spectators. Special guests included three Governors from Mexican states that share a border with Texas--Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Chihuahua.
In his inaugural address, incoming Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst promised a pro-family, pro-growth agenda. "Together we can open the doors of opportunity for all," Dewhurst said in both English and Spanish. "Together," said Dewhurst, "we will turn the challenges before us into opportunities. We will balance our budget. We will stiff-arm new taxes. We will maintain essential services. Hardworking Texas families deserve as much."
Governor Rick Perry repeated the inaugural theme of "One Star, One Future, One Texas" in his address. "We cannot rest until the opportunities enjoyed by some are the opportunities open to all," said Perry. Yesterday he announced the formation of The OneStar Foundation, a nonprofit volunteer organization which will encourage citizens to work with existing charities.
"Limited government--focused rather than unwieldy, clear in priorities," the Governor continued, "that's the government Texans have voted for and expect from their leaders." He outlined his priorities, said that "both our tax system and our school finance system must be reformed," and stated that "these issues will be addressed during this administration."
The Senate will reconvene Wednesday, January 22, 2003, at 1:00 p.m.