AUSTIN -- Gov. Rick Perry vetoed 23 bills late Friday, including legislation that would have banned texting while driving.
Perry also signed hundreds of bills that poured out of the regular legislative session, which ended May 30, including a budget to run state government for the 2012-13 biennium.
He also allowed more than 30 bills to become law without his signature.
The Humane Society of the United States applauded Perry for signing measures to crack down on cockfighting and to regulate so-called "puppy mills" by requiring licensing and inspections for large-scale dog and cat breeders.
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Perry had a deadline of Sunday to act on legislation from the regular session. Lawmakers are still at work in a special session that is to end no later than June 29.
In all, Perry has signed more than 1,000 bills, but a clear picture of those that left his desk during the bill-signing flurry Friday wasn't immediately available because many were still being processed into the night.
"There is still some work to be done by lawmakers, but I am confident the bills I have signed will strengthen our economic momentum moving forward," Perry said.
In addition to the 23 vetoes Friday, Perry had already vetoed a bill to enforce sales tax collections on online sales.
Perry struck down a bill by Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, that would have required state agencies to submit reports on the impact of the national healthcare law pushed through Congress by President Barack Obama.
The key to stopping people from texting while driving is "information and education," Perry wrote in explaining his decision on the texting-while-driving ban.
"I support measures that make our roads safer for everyone, but House Bill 242 is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults," Perry wrote.
Perry also vetoed Senate Bill 408, authored by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, which would have banned most airboats on a stretch of the Brazos River in Palo Pinto and Parker counties. Supporters said the bill would protect the ecology of the 113-mile portion of the river designated the John Graves Scenic Waterway, but airboat owners viewed it as a power grab by wealthy landowners.
Robert Bagwell, a member of Brazos River Airboaters, said airboat owners launched a furious campaign against the proposed law using social media. Boat owners were ecstatic about the veto, which Bagwell said he learned about Friday in an e-mail from the governor's office.
Staff writer Alex Branch contributed to this report.
Dave Montgomery is chief of the Star-Telegram's Austin bureau, 512-476-4294
Aman Batheja, 817--390-7695