Education, Immigration Likely Major Themes Of Abbott’s State Of The State Message

Governor Abbott is also expected to call for additional funds for Child Protective Services to address a statewide crisis in foster care.


Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbott is about to deliver his 2017 State of the State Address to the Texas Legislature. The governor will outline what he sees as the most pressing issues facing Texas.

Abbott is likely to devote a significant part of his speech to education and child welfare. There's already a push from both sides of the aisle to boost funding for Child Protective Services, in the wake of the state's foster care crisis.

"He'll probably also ask us to consider providing more funding for pre-K," says State Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston). "That was really big on his priority list last time. It continues to be his priority. And because education is a priority everywhere, he'll probably look at maybe pieces of it, maybe the 15 percent cap on special needs children, maybe on some of the issues related to vouchers." Garcia seemed more skeptical that Abbott would take on the larger issue of reforming school finance.

Abbott is also likely to take a hard line on immigration enforcement. The governor is already trying to crack down on so-called "sanctuary cities," localities that don't fully cooperate in enforcing federal immigration laws.

"I think he's made it pretty clear from some of his tweets of late that [outlawing] sanctuary cities will be at the top of his list," Garcia says.

Abbott has threatened to cut $1.8 million in grants to Travis County as part of a fight with county Sheriff Sally Hernandez over this issue. Hernandez recently announced a policy barring deputies and jailers from asking about someone's immigration status.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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