FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2023
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 | Emma.Bittner@younginvincibles.org
Governor Abbott Presents Priorities For The 88th Legislature
IN HIS 2023 STATE OF THE STATE, GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT OUTLINES PRIORITIES OF SAFER SCHOOLS, LOWER PROPERTY TAXES, AND A HIGHLY SKILLED WORKFORCE
(Houston, TX) – Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott presented his legislative priorities to the Texas Legislature during the 2023 State of the State. In his priorities, he outlines the need for safe schools, lower property taxes, and a highly skilled workforce, yet lacks a plan to support young Texans across the state. Young Invincibles is disappointed in Governor Abbott for his failure to support young Texans and provide necessary investments for health care and student supports in higher education.
Governor Abbott highlighted the need for a highly skilled workforce and his plan to reward community colleges that “produce skilled, employable Texans.” YI was pleased to hear about Abbott’s investment in community colleges. Texas must continue to expand apprenticeship and workforce opportunities in addition to postsecondary education. Texas’ efforts to expand apprenticeship and workforce programs come at a time when many young people seek new careers, yet women currently make up just 10% of those in registered Texas apprenticeship programs.
In his address, he outlined necessary steps for K-12 education, yet failed to mention higher education supports. Affordability and accessibility prevent Texans from pursuing post-secondary education and student debt poses significant barriers to economic security after graduation. Furthermore, investments in mental health care on college campuses are critical for students to receive the necessary support.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country with nearly one-third of young adults without health coverage. Governor Abbott’s State of the State lacked any plan to address health care access in the state, Medicaid expansion is needed to help Texans remain healthy and get the proper care.
In response, Travis Evans, Southern Regional Director at Young Invincibles issued the following response:
“Governor Abbott outlined priorities to create a prosperous Texas, however, failed to mention young people. Young Texans are tomorrow’s leaders; it is critical to invest in them and invite them to the table to help make these decisions.
We were excited to hear about the need for a skilled workforce and plan to invest in programs at community colleges. We must continue to support young Texans by expanding apprenticeship and work-based learning programs. These programs allow Texans to earn while they learn and continue towards financial security while gaining the necessary skills and education they need.
Investing in higher education and workforce readiness is critical. The pandemic has continued to exacerbate the mental health crisis and campuses need the necessary resources to support students. It is imperative that we address student debt and make higher education more affordable and accessible. Sixty-six percent of young Texas borrowers say that student loan debt stops them from getting what they want in life.
Necessary investments in health care, such as expanding Medicaid is a critical and life-saving effort needed for Texans to get the care they deserve. Furthermore, investments in maternal and postpartum care are essential, 12 months of postpartum care is necessary to ensure both the mother and baby receive critical care, including postpartum depression treatment.
Substantive and comprehensive investments in our workforce, access to higher education, and health care are necessary for this prosperous future.”
Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or firstname.lastname@example.org