Texas Governor Gregg Abbott
Named “Best Governor in the Nation” in 2020, Governor Greg Abbott continues to build on his record as a strong conservative leader who fights to preserve Texas values and ensure the Lone Star State remains the best place to raise a family, build a business, and create greater opportunity for all.
Texas works when Texans work:
Under Governor Abbott’s careful stewardship of the ninth-largest economy in the world, the Lone Star State added more than 1 million new jobs during the first five years of his administration.
With the Governor’s unwavering commitment to expanding opportunity for all hardworking Texans, the Lone Star State is the top state for attracting job-creating capital investments and is among the top states for jobs created by African American, Hispanic, women, and veteran business owners.
Securing our future:
As our nation faces a surge of illegal crossings at our southern border, Governor Abbott is taking action with the most robust border security plan of any state in U.S. history. That includes launching Operation Lone Star, which deploys air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels, smugglers, and human traffickers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas. The Governor also signed a budget that allocates a record $1 billion to border security. Additionally, Governor Abbott announced plans to build a border wall in Texas—allocating $250 million as an initial down payment.
Addressing the state’s most pressing issues:
In the 87th Legislative Session, the Governor achieved significant legislative victories to build a safer, freer, and more prosperous future for Texas: adding COVID liability protections for Texas businesses, employees, and healthcare providers; expanding broadband access; enacting laws to stop cities from defunding the police; reforming the Electric Reliability Council of Texas; and weatherizing the state’s power system to protect against extreme weather events. Other successes include passing Constitutional Carry, defending religious freedoms, and passing the heartbeat bill to ensure every unborn child with a heartbeat will be saved from abortion.
Landmark legislation passed in previous sessions included the Governor’s priorities of: reining in skyrocketing property taxes; investing more in our classrooms and teachers; keeping our schools safe; combatting human trafficking; strengthening disaster preparedness and response; reforming the child protective system; reining in regulations; improving Texas roads; and cutting billions of dollars in taxes.
Defined by perseverance:
Before his election in 2014 as the 48th Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott was the 50th and longest-serving Attorney General of Texas, earning a national reputation for defending religious liberty and protecting Texas communities and children. He also previously served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court and as a State District Judge in Harris County.
A native Texan and avid sportsman and hunter, Governor Abbott was born in Wichita Falls and raised in Duncanville. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, he earned a law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Shortly after graduating from law school, he was partially paralyzed by a falling tree while jogging. From his faith and family, he gained strength, recognizing “our lives are not defined by our challenges, but by how we respond to them.”
Governor Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, a former teacher and principal, and the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas, were married in 1981. Their daughter, Audrey, works in the music industry.
Governor Greg Abbott’s new policy proposals, “Bicentennial Blueprint: Framing Our Future,” build on the successes Texas achieved during the first two legislative sessions under Governor Greg Abbott’s leadership.
Texas leads the nation in personal and economic liberty, but together, we can do so much more and create an even brighter future for all Texans. Governor Abbott’s bold leadership will ensure a Texas that is safe and secure, encourages greater job growth, reins in skyrocketing property taxes, elevates our education system, takes care of our veterans, and reforms government to unleash the full potential of our great state.
After accomplishing so much of his agenda outlined in his “Bicentennial Blueprint” for Texas, Governor Abbott knows we can do even more. Let’s shape the future for Texas’ upcoming bicentennial and beyond!
Grow the Economy
Greg Abbott knows that it’s vital to keep the Texas economy an international leader.
Since Governor Abbott took office, Texas has added more than 500,000 new jobs. More Texans have jobs today than ever before in the history of our state.
Governor Abbott has repealed $250 million worth of professional fees that were barriers to Texans entering the workforce.
In fact, if Texas was its own country, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world.
Greg Abbott also promised to cut taxes, delivering the largest tax relief package in nearly a decade–more than $4 billion. The business franchise tax was slashed by 25 percent—a $2.5 billion tax cut.
Property taxes were cut by more than a billion dollars.
Texas continues to outperform and outrank the other states in economic liberty, job growth, and more. But more can be done to make sure every Texan that wants a job has the opportunity to prosper.
Protect Individual Liberty: Defending our Rights Guaranteed by the Constitution
Defending the 2nd Amendment
Greg Abbott believes the right to keep and bear arms was settled in 1791 when the 2nd Amendment was adopted to the U.S. Constitution. On behalf of 31 states, Greg Abbott championed a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision (District of Columbia v. Heller) that struck down a handgun ban and protected an individual’s right to bear arms while he was Texas’ Attorney General. He was also one of the first Attorneys General in America to challenge the Obama Administration’s efforts to use the United Nations to regulate guns in the United States.
As Governor, Greg Abbott expanded 2nd Amendment rights, signing into law “campus carry” and “open carry.”
As an avid hunter and member of the Texas State Rifle Association and National Rifle Association, Greg Abbott will continue to fight any federal government overreach that aims to disrupt the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Texans.
Protecting Religious Liberty
Championing the conservative values and religious liberties that define Texans, Greg Abbott fights for the principles of faith, family and freedom to make Texas a better place to live and raise a family.
Greg Abbott successfully defended the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments on the Texas Capitol grounds all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also represented all 50 states in defending the words “One Nation, Under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance, and in defending prayer during the Presidential Inauguration ceremony.
As Governor, Greg Abbott defended pastors’ rights to speak freely about their faith by signing the Pastor Protection Act.
Securing the border
Signed legislation requiring state agencies to participate in E-Verify to ensure state money goes only to those eligible to work in the United States
Greg Abbott knows that for you to be truly free—for you to succeed at work, or at school, or as a parent—you need to feel secure.
To fight the drug cartels and human traffickers from importing crime into Texas, Greg Abbott signed the toughest border security law of any state.
Enforcing the Law
As Governor, he signed a law banning sanctuary cities in Texas after naming it an emergency item during the most recent legislative session. It’s irresponsible and reckless to release known criminals back onto our streets.
Signed legislation requiring state agencies to participate in E-Verify to ensure state money goes only to those eligible to work in the United States.
Greg Abbott also launched an anti-gang strike force to crack down on violent crime and gangs like MS-13. The strike force is a joint effort with local, state, and federal law enforcement in Harris County.
In just the first three months, Texas arrested more than 1,000 criminals.
Supporting law enforcement
Keeping our communities safe requires us to support our law enforcement officers on the front line. With disturbing frequency, they have become the target of hate-filled attacks.
To support and protect our law enforcement officers, Texas is now providing them rifle-proof vests. Governor Abbott signed a law making it a hate crime to assault a law enforcement officer simply because of the uniform they wear.
Increase Government Transparency
An open government is the bedrock of a free society. For decades, Texas has had some of the strongest open government laws in the nation – laws ensure that Texans can know what their government is doing and how their government makes the decisions that affect their lives.
A 2005 recipient of the James Madison Award for his unwavering commitment to open government, Greg Abbott has championed greater transparency throughout his administration. He has supported bills passed by the Texas Legislature to bring the Open Meetings Act into the 21st Century, to require public officials to undergo training in Texas’ open government laws and to open the investment of public funds to more scrutiny.
Additionally, Greg Abbott has pursued stricter oversight of public pension funds in order to protect retirees and taxpayers. He urged pension boards to prohibit fund trustees and managers from working for companies doing business with the boards, require registration of pension fund actuaries, and recommended pension boards to have at least one member with investment expertise. Greg Abbott believes that sound public pension funds are necessary in order to avoid taxpayer bailouts.
During both legislative sessions under Greg Abbott’s leadership, ethics reform was declared an emergency item for the Texas Legislature to address.
Elevate Texas education
Greg Abbott knows that the minds that will power America’s future are being educated in Texas today.
Since Greg Abbott took office as Governor, more Texas students are graduating from high school and college. Texas now has the third highest high school graduation rate in America.
Of the top 100 public high schools in America, more are located in Texas than any other state, and Texas doubled the number of tier one universities.
Governor Abbott passed education initiatives that
Fund Math and Literacy Academies
Greg Abbott wants to recruit and retain the best and brightest teachers and create a pathway for the very best teachers to earn the most in the nation.
Governor Abbott knows that when it comes to education, not all kids are the same. A one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work. That’s why we need to empower parents to choose the school that’s best for their child.
As Governor, Greg Abbott signed the University Research Initiative into law, devoting
More than $8 billion in bonds and funding to promote research, compensate researchers
$4 billion devoted to attracting Nobel Laureates and National Academy Members
Restore the Constitution: Combating Federal Overreach – Article V Convention of States
Texas’ greatest freedom enumerated in our Constitution is the Tenth Amendment. This country is seeing a federal government that aggressively intrudes into our personal lives, our businesses, and our bank accounts—completely disregarding the powers delegated to the states by the United States Constitution.
To combat an overreaching federal government, Greg Abbott filed 30 lawsuits against the Obama Administration to protect Texas’ sovereignty as Attorney General.
From the EPA to ObamaCare, Greg Abbott has challenged every attempt by the federal government to erode our states’ rights. He has led Texas to resounding legal victories that shield our state laws and ensure that our Tenth Amendment rights are not infringed upon.
As Governor, Greg Abbott is one of the leading voices in America calling for an Article V Convention of States. Our nation’s founders knew there would be a time when the federal government would overstep its authority, and they gave us a tool to deal with it in the Constitution.
Protect Vulnerable Texan: Bringing Safety and Justice to all Texans
Protecting the unborn
Since Greg Abbott took office as Governor, we have made great strides to protect life, but we must also do more to protect our vulnerable unborn children.
Texas ended the barbaric practice of selling baby body parts for profit. Texas increased funding for adoption services. And Texas banned partial birth abortions.
But more must be done to defend the culture of life in Texas. Greg Abbott wants to prevent cities and counties from using your tax dollars to fund abortions.
Ending human trafficking
Human life is not an asset. It’s not a commodity. Life is a gift from God, and we must do everything we can to defend Texans’ most basic rights endowed by our Creator and guaranteed in the Constitution.
As chairman of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force, Greg Abbott worked closely with legislators, law enforcement authorities, and victim service providers to combat human trafficking across Texas. In 2013, Greg Abbott was honored to be the recipient of the New Friends New Life “Protect-Her Award.”
Working with the Texas legislature, Greg Abbott has fought to increase penalties for traffickers, enhance coordination within the law enforcement community, and improve victims’ access to important services.
Greg Abbott created a child sex trafficking task force to eliminate this horrific crime.
Human trafficking is modern day slavery, and it a serious problem that afflicts not only Texas, but the rest of the nation. Greg Abbott will continue to crack down on this vile crime.
Safeguarding Texas children
Our most precious Texans are also among the most vulnerable. Greg Abbott has made protecting children and removing dangerous predators from our communities a top priority as Texas’ Attorney General.
He launched the Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units in 2003, directly resulting in the arrest of more than 4,454 fugitives, sex offenders, parole violators, and other felons.
In addition to fostering safety for our children in our communities and online, one of the most important responsibilities of Greg Abbott as Attorney General was the collection of child support.
Child support directly benefits the children and saves Texas taxpayers money by avoiding additional state welfare costs. Under Greg Abbott’s watch, the Attorney General’s office has collected over $31 billion in child support for Texas children. In 2014, his office was recognized as the nation’s best child support program by the National Child Support Enforcement Association.
Keeping Texas safe includes protecting our vulnerable children who are too often stranded in the foster care system.
Greg Abbott’s first emergency item this year was to reform a broken foster care and child protective system in Texas. We now have more resources and better strategies to protect our children and to ensure they find safe and loving homes.
Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott
Cecilia Abbott’s story reminds us all that the American Dream is alive and well in Texas. The granddaughter of immigrants from Mexico, Cecilia was raised in San Antonio by parents who were both educators, and who instilled in Cecilia, her sister, and two brothers a love of learning and helping others. Cecilia took their lessons to heart and studied at the University of Texas at Austin before subsequently earning three degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Houston: a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Education, and a Master’s degree in Theology.
Cecilia then devoted her life to serving others. She has been a teacher, vice-principal, and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas. Most recently, she served as the principal of the Cathedral School of Saint Mary in Austin from 1996 to 2001. Cecilia then went on to another noble calling working in senior health care services, where she served as Managing Director of Community Relations from 2004 to 2013 for a health care company specializing in senior adult health care facilities and services.
Cecilia has been equally devoted to helping others in her personal life as well. She currently serves on the Cathedral School of Saint Mary Advisory Board and on the board of the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation. Cecilia is also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels Central Texas.
Cecilia is a former member of the State Board for Educator Certification, where she served from 2001 to 2008. She has also served on advisory boards for: the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter; the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Texas Regional Office; the Holy Trinity Seminary; the Catholic Diocese of Austin Schools; the Saint Gabriel’s Catholic School Board of Trustees; Ballet Austin; the Women’s Symphony League of Austin; the Dell Children’s Women’s Trust; and the Principals’ Center at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Cecilia believes strongly in giving back. Her signature initiative as First Lady combines the two things that she is most passionate about — Texas and philanthropy. She calls it Texanthropy, through which she actively promotes volunteerism and service to others across Texas. Cecilia has also partnered with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) on a similar initiative — Network of Nurture — to raise awareness about the ways Texans can support the children and families in the state’s child welfare system. Mrs. Abbott has collaborated with the Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, DFPS, and a diverse group of faith leaders across Texas working together to develop effective strategies to end human trafficking through the Governor’s Response Against Child Exploitation (GRACE) initiative.
Cecilia is a classical music devotee, having begun playing the piano at the age of six. Her piano training came in handy when she moved into the Castilian Dorm at the University of Texas, where she serenaded her future husband from behind the keyboard with music, the likes of which he had never heard before. She is also a prolific animal lover and has nurtured numerous dogs into their late teens. She has raised a variety of pets, including a Nubian goat named Petunia.
Most importantly, Cecilia is a proud mother to her daughter, Audrey, and a devoted wife to her husband of 40 years, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. With her husband’s election as Governor, Cecilia made history by becoming the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. The Abbott Family lives in Austin with the First Dogs of Texas, Pancake and Peaches.