UnidosUS statement on Texas Gov. Abbott’s State of the State address

WASHINGTON, DC— Following Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s State of the State address last night, UnidosUS Texas Strategist Manuel Grajeda issued the following statement:

“We had hoped that Gov. Abbott would address healthcare access to help those who live in the state with the highest number of uninsured persons in the country or discuss how he would help essential workers to keep a roof over their head or food on their tables. Instead, he chose to focus on divisive political issues to maintain his clout with his political allies in the state.

“While we agree that improving broadband access and expanding telemedicine are laudable goals, there was more bad than good in the governor’s remarks. Nearly 40,000 Texans have died from the coronavirus, a disproportionate amount of them being Black and Hispanic. Yet Gov. Abbott spent more time talking about guns, abortion, and religious liberty than what he could do to support essential workers and their families, many of whom are immigrants and persons of color.

“Instead of playing to his base, we had hoped the Governor would say he was planning to address the pandemic by:

  • Increasing health care access by endorsing any of the various bills that would decrease the state’s uninsured rate.
  • Reducing barriers to SNAP and help food-insecure working families eat during the pandemic.
  • Increasing culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate outreach, education, and enrollment to all Texans eligible for assistance programs.

“Despite the governor’s inattention, UnidosUS and our Texas affiliates will continue to work with Texas legislators this session to pass bills that support working families.”