HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott gave a state of the state address Tuesday in Houston.
Abbott spoke at the Hilton Americas Downtown at discussed the Texas economy and safety of children and law enforcement.
According to Greater Houston Partnership, this is the second address since he spoke to members of the 85th Legislature in Austin earlier in 2017.
Abbott addressed the positive growth in employment rates in Texas and highlighted positive achievements in Houston.
"More Texans have jobs today than ever before in the history of the Lone Star state," Abbott said. "Houston is the home of the largest medical center in the world, Houston is one of the largest ports in the world, and you may not know this but, Texas is identified as one of the few knowledge capitols in the world."
Abbott compared the Texas economy to countries around the world.
"The Texas economy is larger than Canada. It's larger than Australia. Get this. The Texas economy is even larger than Russia. That makes me more powerful than Putin," Abbott said.
The governor addressed his plans to reform CPS to better protect children after he said more than 100 children died in the CPS system last year.
"If we pass only one bill that I signed this session it must be legislation that reforms CPS so that no more children lose their lives," Abbott said "We are adding hundreds upon millions of dollars to the CPS system so that we can improve it so that we will take care of our most vulnerable and needy children."
Abbott also stressed the need to better protect law enforcement after murder rates of law enforcement increased at a rate of 150 percent in the last year.
"We as a city and as a state must do more to protect law enforcement themselves, these are the people who are on the front line of keeping our community safe, and yet it is our law enforcement who are physically themselves the target of hate-filled killers," Abbott said.
The governor said he has been authorized to provide grant money to local law enforcement for officers to receive rifle proof vests to protect them from increased danger.
"Texas will not tolerate assaults on our law enforcement officers," Abbott said. "We will show support for those who are keeping our communities safe. "
Abbott said there are three plans in talks surrounding strategies to continue funding Pre-K education, but that discontinuing funding was out of the question.
"We are providing them with skills they will need in order for them to be contributing members to our society going forward," Abbott said.
Abbott touched on clean water and air efforts and the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.
"There's no one going around saying, 'Make Texas great again,' we're already great." Abbott said. "The people in this room are helping to write the next chapter in the extraordinary history of the great state of Texas."