AUSTIN, Texas - Inauguration day came on a clear day for Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Under a big Texas flag, both took their oath of office.
The ceremonial salute that followed was symbolic of the clear message Patrick and Abbott both had Tuesday. To make his point, the governor used the state song, "Texas our Texas," as the outline for his speech.
"Today, we gather on the threshold of a legislative session that's going to transform the lives of Texans for generations together. We are going to build the Texans of tomorrow, not for just the next four years, but for the next century," said Abbott.
A record-breaking budget surplus will help pay for the vision. In his speech, Governor Abbott said he wants improvements to the state infrastructure; like new roads and power grid protections. He also promised a focus on parental rights.
"But we must remember this. Our schools are for education, not indoctrination. Schools should not be pushing social agendas. Our schools must get back to teaching our students the fundamentals," said Abbott.
There was a pledge to improve public safety as well. That was a big reason Daniel and Veronica Kaprosy came to the event.
"The biggest thing is spread awareness of what's going on with our teenagers. In our country," said Daniel Kaprosy.
They brought with them a picture of their 17-year-old daughter, who died in July from a fentanyl overdose.
"It's a weapon of mass destruction right now. It's taking our children," said Veronica Kaprosy.
In his speech, Governor Abbott said the hopes of the parents who lost children to fentanyl rest on state leaders.
"Our job is to deliver solutions for our fellow Texans. And by God, that is exactly what we are going to do this session," said Abbott.
Abbott and Patrick both restated their pledge for another round of property tax relief, including ideas like appraisal reform, which may be needed to secure votes from lawmakers like Stephanie Klick (R) Fort Worth.
"I think that that's part of it. But it's going to take a comprehensive approach. You know, we've nibbled around the edges. Increased homestead exemption in the past also have compressed rates, but it needs to be a full package, a comprehensive package of reforms," said Klick.
Governor Abbott will eventually provide more specifics about his goals. That’s expected when he addresses lawmakers next month during the State of the State speech.