"States' rights" is usually just code for "racism," but in Rick Perry's case he is just mad as hell about how he is being forced to spend billions of dollar in federal stimulus money in ways the federal government demands, rather than just blowing it on bribing Rush Limbaugh to move to Austin or whatever.
So he joined some state legislators in supporting a Texas House bill affirming Texas' sovereignty under the 10th Amendment.
It also designates that all compulsory federal legislation that requires states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties, or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding, be prohibited or repealed
Yes well we hope they do pass this bill, mostly because of that last bit, about the federal funding "incentives" for passing new laws. That was a favorite tool of Reagan and Bush II, who used it to raise the drinking age and enforce federal marijuana laws with raids on legal medicinal marijuana clinics and other fun things like those (and the Supreme Court has said that it's kosher).
If Texas actually becomes a legal underaged .10 blood-alcohol content spliff-smoking 100-mph libertarian autobahn paradise we will take Perry at his word, that he is concerned about the constitution and not just looking to aid his reelection bid by going hard-line anti-feds making him help poor people. Also if all that happens we might just move there! Who doesn't love getting wasted and speeding with high school seniors?
So don't you dare give Rick Perry some of the money necessary to fund the state's bankrupt unemployment trust fund and expect him to do something about that forthcoming $750 million shortfall! (He would really appreciate more federal help with those wildfires, though!)