Among Greg Abbott's Priorities for Texas: Open Carry and, No Joke, Women's Health

Newly elected Texas Governor Greg Abbott laid out his most comprehensive vision yet for the state during his first "state of the state" address Tuesday morning. Much of what he said was expected. He hopes to slash spending almost across the board, seal off the border by hiring more Department of Public Safety troopers and promised to "reject any budget that does not include genuine tax relief to Texas employers and job creators." He praised the Texas economy. It's thriving, Abbott said because freedom.

"The reason Texas leads the nation is because of our greatest natural resource -- the people of Texas -- who've built a strong and diversified economy. Texas leads the nation as a beacon of individual liberty and economic opportunity. Our job is to make sure we keep it that way," he said

That doesn't mean Abbott didn't veer off the well-beaten path a couple of times. He stated his intention to focus on women's health, something that was more than a little confusing considering his robust defense of Texas' anti-abortion legislation, HB2.

"We also need to provide more funding for women's health programs for more access to care like cancers screenings and checkups. My budget does that. My budget also increases funding for screening and treatment for post-partum depression," he said.

This despite the plan in the current Texas Senate budget to cut-off federal cancer-screening funds to Planned Parenthood, one of the primary providers of health services to low-income women.

See also: Sen. Jane Nelson Wants to Strip Planned Parenthood of Money for Cancer Screenings

Abbott also made sure to mention the cause du jour of the anarcho-libertarian right, the open carrying of handguns.

"Let me briefly follow up on a word I mentioned a moment ago -- liberty. In a single word, it encapsulates what this country stands for, what Texas symbolizes. I will expand liberty in Texas by signing a law that makes Texas the 45th state to allow open carry," he said.

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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