I thank the bishops of Texas for showing respect for the unborn by offering to bury fetal remains at no cost. It demonstrates the dignity and reverence that every child's life deserves. That is why I support legislation to codify this dignity for every child in the future.
Every child--born and unborn--deserves dignity. The butchering of unborn babies for trade in the open market is barbaric. I want legislation on my desk that criminalizes the sale or donation of baby body parts.
We must also do more to help the children that mothers bring into this world. That's why I'm committed to advancing adoption services and developing programs to support mothers who embrace the blessing of a child's life.
Texas will not tolerate attacks on law enforcement officers. We will rise up as a state in support our law enforcement. I want legislation that increases penalties and makes it a hate crime for criminals who target peace officers simply because of their uniform.
As one example, Dr. Richard Miles--a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering--is leaving Princeton to join the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M. His work places Texas A&M and the State of Texas at the forefront of laser and optical technology that can enhance national security. Research like this spurs economic development and helps create jobs.
We must continue our mission to do more than just prepare Texas for the next two years. We also need to put our state on the path for national and international prominence for the next 20 years. GURI does just that. And must be fully funded again.
We need more workers, with better training, smarter strategies and real accountability to safeguard our children. While improving child safety in CPS, we must also remain vigilant in protecting parental rights. We must remember that the best place for a child, if at all possible, is with their parents. We also need to develop a Network of Nurture. We need a legion of families in every county who can open their homes and open their hearts to fostering our vulnerable children. Do not underfund this rickety system only to have it come back and haunt you.
Sure, we had a downturn in the oil patch like we have almost every decade. 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.
Our national and international rankings continue to rise. We are now second in the number of Fortune 500 companies. And with your help, we'll soon be No. 1. If Texas were its own country we would now be the 10th largest economy in the world. Our economy is larger than Australia, Canada and even Russia.
Texas is the Lone Star State for a reason: We stand apart as a model for the rest of the nation. It's our privilege, our duty to preserve the cause of liberty. Let's keep Texas the most exceptional state in America.
Juan Rios is a criminal alien who had been arrested in Texas multiple times and deported three times. Last September, he went on a crime spree across Texas, killing two people & kidnapping another. It's a tragedy repeated too often in Texas. It is time for Texas to take a stand.
Some law enforcement officials in Texas are openly refusing to enforce existing law. That is unacceptable. Elected officials don't get to pick and choose which laws they obey. To protect Texans from deadly danger, we must insist that laws be followed. This is the session we will ban sanctuary cities. I'm declaring this an emergency item.
Speaking of taxes, Texans are being crushed by property taxes. Their property tax bills often increase far faster than household income. No government should be able to tax people out of their homes. No government should be able to disregard the private property rights of its citizens.
Texas should not stand for it. We must remember: Property owners are not renting their land from the city. That is why we need property tax reform that prevents cities from raising property taxes without voter approval. We need serious property tax reform with a real revenue cap.
Biotech. Defense tech. Wearable tech. Clean tech. Technologies developed in Texas are changing the world in which we live. The Dallas, Houston and Austin areas are now known as three of the world's premiere "knowledge capitals." And get this: Midland beats the San Francisco area in the percentage of jobs created by startups. And, we continue to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.
For example, Texas now has more public high schools ranked in the top 100 than any other state. We have the fourth highest high school graduation rate in America. We are second among Hispanic and African-American students, and first among economically disadvantaged students. And the No. 1 public high school in America is in Dallas Independent School District.
The above quotations are from 2017 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2017 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Greg Abbott.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
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