Let’s talk about a couple of things coming up with the upcoming legislative session.

In the upcoming session, one obvious thing that we need to address is to make sure we are going to be able to balance our budget.

I just got out of a budget meeting, right before coming on to this Zoom presentation and candidly, the fiscal health of Texas is looking pretty good and we feel confident that we will be able to balance our budget while continuing to provide the funding that we committed to our education, to our public schools, to make sure that our schools will be well-funded, that our students will have the resources they need to get educated. As well as to get back to the classroom. And then, in addition to that, there are other issues we want to focus on.

Some practical issues, such as public safety. We know that having a good qualified police force that is well trained is going to be one of the best tools and strategies we can provide to make sure we have safe communities. Candidly, I will tell you, having safety in our communities is one of the reasons that we are seeing so many businesses make the decision to leave and flee states like California, cities like Chicago, cities like Portland, and Seattle, etc. And they are coming to the state of Texas because the state of Texas is safer. We need to maintain that reality. Texas is a safe place and we do that by supporting our law enforcement officers.

Other issues we want to address. You mentioned healthcare. Part of what we need to do with regard to healthcare is to make sure we adequately and fully and completely address all the healthcare needs of anybody concerning COVID-19. But there are other things we want to address concerning healthcare. One is, we want to make clear that regardless of what healthcare plan exists at the federal level, we want to make sure that Texans know their pre-existing conditions will be covered through healthcare insurance. The second thing is we want to employ one of the tools and strategies that has served to be very effective during the times of COVID, and that is tele-health and tele-medicine. It is very convenient for our patients. It is very convenient for doctors. And we want to pass laws to make sure that we are able to continue to expand that a tele-health.

I will mention a couple of other things. One is we have understood the reality of the importance of access to broadband. There are some regions of the Rio Grande Valley that have great access to broadband. But others that may not. We want to make sure that every single region, every county every location, large and small communities alike, have equal access to robust broadband access. It could be for their students, it could be for businesses. It could be for anybody. But we expect to leave this session having completed broadband expansion across the entire state of Texas.

So, those are just some of the things that we are thinking about and looking at but there are so many more that you may have questions about that I will be more than happy to answer.

Editor’s Note: The above commentary is based on a presentation Gov. Greg Abbott made recently via Zoom to the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary is the second in a two-part series on Gov. Abbott’s remarks to the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. Part One focused on economic development and rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to read it. 

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