Abbott Speech Fails Working Families

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay posted this comment on Gov. Greg Abbott's State of the State speech:

"Filled with misplaced priorities, misguided pandering and misleading descriptions of current-day Texas viewed through ideological blinders, Greg Abbott's vision for Texas has a big hole in its heart, shortchanging, ignoring or even attacking the desire of working families for a fair shot at better lives. Texas can do so much better than this."

"The pandemic has shed a harsh light on many ways our state failed to prepare for disaster. If you are worried about when you will receive a vaccine in this state, you heard nothing. If you are a teacher looking for assurances that schools will be made safe, you heard nothing. If you have waited for months to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits after losing a job through no fault of your own, you heard nothing. We need vaccines and effective public health policies, and we need them now. What we don't need is a Governor who wants to be the next Donald Trump."

"Texas is not to blame for the pandemic, but if Texas makes policy from the same stale playbook, the pandemic will make all of us worse."

"Promising Texans coverage for pre-existing conditions while trying repeatedly to kill the Affordable Care Act is a political tactic, not a plan to expand coverage where expansion is needed most. Grabbing power from and threatening to punish cities on the pretext of 'law and order' is politicized wedge-building, not protecting the safety of Texans and certainly not offering a real path to racial justice. Scapegoating immigrants and spending big state money in an ineffectual attempt to override federal power is pure politics, not a path to comprehensive immigration reform. And giving businesses even more leeway to oversee unsafe workplaces and leave too many workers poor is a ticket to further inequality, not a fair shot."

We agree with Gov. Abbott on this: We love our state and our vision is different. We are proud that three union members who took part in the official Democratic response advocated for labor's Fair Shot agenda. (

We will continue to fight in this legislative session and beyond to make that agenda a reality for every Texan.