Abbott Addresses Enterprise Fund, Border Security

Greg Abbott talks to reporters at the Texas Capitol on Nov. 5, 2014, the day after he was elected governor.
Greg Abbott talks to reporters at the Texas Capitol on Nov. 5, 2014, the day after he was elected governor.

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the Texas Enterprise Fund, which has given hundreds of millions of dollars to companies looking to relocate to Texas, should be “thoroughly re-evaluated.”

Abbott made the remarks about current Gov. Rick Perry’s signature business incentive program at his first news conference since being elected governor. In addressing the taxpayer-funded Enterprise Fund, Abbott repeated a line he used on the campaign trail: “Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.”

He also announced that Daniel Hodge, who serves as his first assistant attorney general, would be responsible for “coordinating the transition process” from one Republican administration to another.

Abbott, who defeated state Sen. Wendy Davis by 20 percentage points in Tuesday’s general election, will take office in January. He will succeed Perry, whose 14 years in the Governor’s Mansion makes him the state’s longest-serving executive.

The state’s Republican leadership would make border security a priority, Abbott said Wednesday, adding it would fight what he called an overreach of power by the Obama administration.

Abbott said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick had already discussed border policy since the election results came in. On the campaign trail, Abbott recommended that state lawmakers allocate $300 million to increase manpower on the Texas’ southern border with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration.

Jobs and education would also be priorities, added Abbott, who reiterated his support for a law that would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their firearms openly.

Abbott has scheduled meetings with the heads of top state agencies, including a Wednesday discussion with Kyle Janek, executive director of the Health and Human Services Commission. Abbott said they would discuss the state’s preparedness for the Ebola virus, which in October infected three patients in Dallas. 


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