Borris Miles: Governor Abbott Has it All Wrong!

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 2/20/2015, 2:39 p.m.
This week, our newly elected Governor, Greg Abbott, delivered his first State of the State Address. Governor Abbott began his ...

Dear Friends,

This week, our newly elected Governor, Greg Abbott, delivered his first State of the State Address. Governor Abbott began his speech by letting us know that the “state of Texas is strong and together we’re about to make it stronger." Friends, as great as this may sound, I am not sold! Abbott continued to discuss what he wanted to focus on this session, and his emergency items were: transportation, pre-kindergarten (pre-k), border security, higher education, and ethics reform. Below, I discuss some of the key issues he brought up during his address.

Property Tax Reduction:

The Governor spoke in great detail about the importance of a property tax reduction. As a taxpayer, property tax cuts are beneficial. But as a legislator, I understand that property tax cuts can have an adverse effect in our funding for public education. Sadly, our state has never gotten education funding right, and it is likely, under the Governor’s plan, that we will again get it wrong.

Border Security:

Governor Abbott would like for us to double the spending on border security.

His plan includes adding 500 more state troopers to the border as well as adding more Texas Rangers that can focus on corruption. I understand that there are issues at our border, but I am troubled by Governor Abbott’s failure to mention the humanitarian crisis. Thousands of children have traveled unaccompanied to our border searching for a safe place to live, but Governor Abbott’s plan thoughtlessly focuses on sending more troops to secure our border. That just doesn't sit well with me.

Pre-K Funding:

Governor Abbott also stated that his budget would provide additional funding for pre-k programs. However, he did not clarify specifically his pre-k plan. Governor Abbott has stated in the past that he supports standardized testing for pre-k students. This couldn’t be further from what our state needs, and I oppose any plan that includes more standardized testing. I am hopeful that my colleagues—Representative Helen Giddings and Representative Joe Deshotel—who the Governor designated to help carryout his pre-k plan will be a voice of reason in the process.

Governor Abbott’s message spoke specifically to his Republican base. He highlighted policy initiatives that he feels are most important I am sad to say that he is not focusing on the people. I will fight against any policies that will be detrimental to our state, and I will make sure these issues I highlighted above are addressed.

Keep the Faith, Keep the Fight!

State Representative Borris L. Miles

For more information, visit borris.miles@house.state.tx.us