Gov. Greg Abbott: Texas Close to Passing School Vouchers with Two House Votes Needed

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called on school voucher campaigners to rally during the upcoming May primary runoff elections to secure a pro-voucher majority in the Texas House.

Speaking at a conservative policy conference in Austin, Abbott expressed optimism about the progress of the school voucher movement following the March 5 primary. With several anti-voucher Republican incumbents losing to pro-voucher challengers, the Texas House is close to having a majority in favor of vouchers, a key step towards policy implementation.

“We currently have 74 votes supporting school choice in Texas. While this is positive, 74 falls short of the 76 votes needed,” Abbott explained, emphasizing the necessity of securing two additional votes.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation, which organized the Texas Policy Summit attended by Abbott, partnered with the governor over a year ago to promote a “parent empowerment” initiative advocating for school vouchers. Abbott has urged proponents to seize the opportunity in the primary runoffs to influence next year’s legislative session on school vouchers.

Abbott underscored the urgency for active participation, emphasizing the crucial impact the runoffs will have on the final vote count for school vouchers.

The looming May 28 Republican primary runoffs offer a window for the “school choice” movement to bolster its support base, with Abbott expressing optimism about the outcomes. However, the results remain uncertain, contingent on the general election in November.

Characterizing the push for a majority akin to a high-stakes football game, Abbott stressed the importance of securing a decisive lead.

Abbott’s initial campaign evolved from voter mobilization to legislative advocacy and later transitioned into an election drive targeting anti-voucher Republicans. His vocal endorsements of various candidates, including Katrina Pierson, underscore his support for pro-voucher challengers.

Ahead of the runoffs, support for anti-voucher incumbents from House leadership has triggered divisions, with some leaders not aligning with this stance.

During a panel discussion following Abbott’s address, state Rep. Briscoe Cain emphasized the need for unwavering support for school choice, indicating a shift towards a more assertive approach.

“I trust that all victors in the runoff will stand for school choice. If you receive backing from a teacher union, I will not support you,” Cain stated.

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