When he succeeded Rick Perry as governor, Greg Abbott promised to perpetuate his positive policies of “lower taxes, less regulation, and more job creation.”

“Texas will continue to be a pro-business state because of legislative reforms,” he said at the time, at a meeting with Texas congressional leaders from the Greater Houston area. “Texas will remain the best state in the United States with your cooperation.”

So far, Abbott has kept his promise to promote prosperity. In his third State of the State address three weeks ago, he outlined how he intends to keep on keeping it.

“Sure, we had a downturn in the oil patch like we have almost every decade,” he acknowledged at the outset of his speech. “And like every other time, Texas has come roaring back. Last year when oil hit bottom, Texas still added more than 200,000 new jobs,” he boasted, explaining how continuing diversification of our economy softens the impact of periodic oil slumps.

“One of the reasons Texas attracts so many jobs is because of the strides we’ve made on tort reform,” Abbott emphasized. “But, our work is not done. Hail-storm litigation is the newest form of lawsuit abuse. To reduce the economic havoc, I want legislation on my desk that limits abusive hail-storm litigation.”

Abbott called for “cutting taxes and regulations on business” and “serious property tax reform with a real revenue cap.” He also announced, as a necessary budgetary measure, that he was “directing state agencies to impose an immediate hiring freeze through the end of August.”

Like Perry before him, Abbott remains committed to protecting the prerogatives of our state against federal overreach.

“We should demand that the federal government do two things,” he said in conclusion. “One: Fulfill important – but limited – responsibilities as written in the Constitution. And two: On everything else, leave us alone, and let Texans govern Texas.”

Abbott considers Texas “the most exceptional state in America” and wants to keep it that way. So do we.

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