Gov. Greg Abbott presented his State of the State address to Texans Monday evening in a speech broadcast across the state – a departure from his usual remarks to a joint session of the House and Senate at the Capitol.

Abbott covered issues ranging from the economy to health care, and announced several items as emergency issues, a declaration that accelerates legislative timelines for related legislation:

  • Expanding broadband internet access across the state.
  • Limiting the ability of cities to cut police force budgets.
  • Enacting laws that offer protection from lawsuits for businesses and individuals who "operated safely during the pandemic."
  • Limiting bail for those accused or previously convicted of violent crimes.
  • Election integrity. 

Abbott referred to the state’s education commitments passed in HB 3 last session. He asserted that the investments in the bill have shown results, citing salary increases averaging $3,800 for teachers with up to five years of experience and averaging $5,200 for those with more than five years of experience. He emphasized the importance of maintaining the funding commitment in HB 3, a sentiment that has been echoed by other state leaders.

Abbott also discussed his desire to improve civics education.

Abbott noted his expectation that the COVID-19 vaccination process will be improved, particularly as new vaccines are improved, but did not discuss who should have priority access to the vaccines or other specific issues that might affect schools or school employees.