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Gov. Greg Abbott, in a State of the State address last Thursday, outlined his seven top priorities for the ongoing legislative session before an invitation-only audience at a manufacturing facility in San Marcos, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Those priorities include $4 billion for border security, property tax relief and more school choice for parents, which he called “education freedom.” He avoided use of the word “vouchers.’
The governor, beginning his third term, announced that school safety would also be a legislative priority, while avoiding any mention on curtailing the availability of guns, something Democrats hammered on in their 10-minute rebuttal.
Abbott is proposing that $15 billion of the state’s hefty surplus go toward cutting property taxes.
Black lawmakers blast Abbott’s hiring directive
A directive from Abbott to state agencies ordering them to end the use of diversity, equity and inclusion practices in hiring employees has drawn the ire of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and the Texas NAACP. Both groups met last week to urge major national sports groups to refuse to hold championship games in Texas if the governor does not reverse his ruling.
The Statesman reported that the groups called on the NBA and MLB to not host All-Star games in the state, the NFL not to hold Super Bowl games, and the NCAA to decline to host championship games in Texas, unless the ruling is reversed.
“I am proud to say that the NAACP urges all citizens of goodwill to join us and our partners in fighting to stop our state from continuing to move back to Jim Crow,” NAACP President Gary Bledsoe said. Some employment law experts have said the governor’s interpretation of DEI practices is misguided.
The governor’s office has said that hiring on factors other than merit violates state and federal law.