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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

6 takeaways from Abbott’s State of the State address

Greg+Abbott
File photo
Greg Abbott

The Texas economy outdoes even itself
Texas created the most jobs in the state’s history in 2014. “Texas has been No. 1 in the nation for creating jobs for so many years, it’s hard to keep count,” Abbott said. “But in 2014 we literally outdid ourselves. We created more jobs than any year in the history of Texas.” Abbott said he wants to continue this trend by charting a budget to keep Texas the top state in the United States at creating jobs.
Build the base
Abbott said the first topic on his list of emergency items is early education. Abbott hopes to better early education by localizing school control through allowing opt-outs for certain laws for certain schools so schools can better fit their education systems to their communities. Abbott said he hopes to better STEM-related topics rather than focusing on the common core curriculum and to let teachers have more freedom to do their jobs.
Reach higher
Abbott said he wants to improve college and higher education. One initiative involves submitting a budget that would offer half a billion dollars to enhance research programs and attract nationally recognized researchers and noble lariats to Texas universities. “The trail for this game changing success has already been blazed,” Abbott said. “The chancellor’s research initiative at the Texas A&M System has been recruiting the world’s foremost research scholars to College Station and Prairie View A&M.” Abbott declared higher education as his second topic on his list of emergency items.
Tired of Traffic
Abbott’s third emergency item is transportation. He said he hopes to build $4 billion worth of new roads. However, Abbott said he plans to raise the money without increasing taxes, tolls, fees or debt. Funds would come through Proposition 1, which was passed in November, and from already allocated taxes. Abbott said the passing of Prop. 1, which aims to take funds out of the Rainy Day Fund to better Texas roads, shows how badly Texans want better transportation systems. “It’s a sad day in Texas when a guy in a wheelchair can go faster than some of our traffic stuck on our congested roads,” Abbott said.
Secure the Border
Fourth on Abbott’s list was border security. Abbott said along with efforts to keep cartel members out, he wants to implement more funding for local law enforcement, better technology and the hiring of 500 more Texas Department of Public Safety officers for security. “But it takes time to ramp that up,” Abbott said. “That’s why this morning before our gathering here I met with the commanding general of the Texas National Guard and the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and I ordered them as your commander in chief to remain deployed on the border until my border security plan is implemented.”
“Ethics are important”
Abbott’s final item on his emergency list is ethics reforms. He said elected official transparency is one project he is looking into, requiring officials to show any contracts they have with public entities. Abbott said this would prohibit lawmakers from profiting off of passed legislation as well as requiring them to disclose campaign finance information.

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