Abbott Touts Less Spending and More Tax Cuts

The governor releases his draft budget

Governor Greg Abbott addresses the opening of the Texas Legislature
Governor Greg Abbott addresses the opening of the Texas Legislature (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Time for Gov. Greg Abbott to put the state's money where his mouth is. In his Jan. 31 State of the State address, Abbott threw red meat to conservatives, including a hiring freeze for all state agencies. That afternoon, he released his draft budget, which put cash into those agenda points, like $35 million for the Alternatives to Abortion program. Some points may find bipartisan backing, such as a push for an extra $500 million and an exemption on the hiring freeze for the under-resourced Child Protective Services. However, in a sign of Abbott's priorities, the total combined budget for the Department of Family and Protective Services and women's health services expects to be less than his proposed border security spending. Moreover, Abbott doubled down on the philosophy of increased tax breaks by proposing another $250 million reduction in the franchise tax, while calling on lawmakers to hand out $108 million in business incentives via the highly controversial Texas Enterprise Fund.

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