Greg Abbott

Abbott Praises Economy at Dallas Regional Chamber Luncheon's ‘State of the State' Speech

Governor Greg Abbott calls for tax cuts and massive deregulation.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered a State of the State speech Wednesday to business leaders at a Dallas Regional Chamber luncheon.

The Republican governor touted the state’s business-friendly economy. He said plans in the current session of the Texas Legislature will make it even better.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. Texas is the land of opportunity for everyone to come and to create jobs and to participate in the prosperity that only Texas has to offer,” Abbott said.

Kardal Coleman, Dallas Democratic Party Vice Chairman, said many groups are excluded from opportunities in Texas.

“There are many barriers, also. Texas is the most uninsured state in the nation so there are many barriers to becoming this land of opportunity that Governor Abbott talks about,” Coleman said.

Abbott said the proposed deregulation will free businesses from red tape and help create jobs.

“We’re doing a massive, massive regulatory reform that likely will be a model that other states in the country will adopt,” Abbott said.

The reforms Abbott mentioned include state-standardized building permit regulations instead of individual cities setting regulations and standards.

The City of Dallas has struggled the past few years to issue permits as quickly as builders say they receive them in suburbs. But cities generally oppose surrendering local control to the state. The governor said a unified state approach to permit oversight would accelerate the process and help builders.

“It’s far better to have only one permitting process that you know you can comply with that will dramatically lower the cost of doing business,” he said.

Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce President Harrison Blair attended the DRC luncheon.

“We definitely want to look into what that massive undertone really indicates in policy,” Blair said.

One de-regulation Abbott has demanded of state agencies and universities is removing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals.

“So as we talk about access to everyone, think about all the department heads across the state that are now not focused on DEI or diversity in any way or equity, which is really what we’re trying to get to in our society,” Blair said.

Abbott said half the state’s record $33 billion budget surplus should be used to fund property tax cuts, both real property and business personal property taxes.

Some lawmakers support including a sales tax reduction to help renters who don’t pay property taxes.

Coleman said additional uses of the budget surplus would help people.

“Give teachers a $15,000 raise, this school year. That would be great. Also to take a step further and help our HBCU, historically black colleges and universities,” Coleman said.

Much of what Abbott proposed is still subject to debate in Austin. His critics said they would reserve final judgment until they see the final details of the proposed bills.

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