AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Abbott weighed in Friday on recent ugly confrontations at the state capitol during rallies for gun rights and the Muslim community.
Governor Greg Abbott was the featured speaker Friday at the mid-winter conference of the state VFW. He told the group about this letter he sent urging president Obama to move forward with the idea of building a new VA hospital in the Rio Grande Valley region.
"Having served on the front lines, you deserve to go to the front of the line when it comes to gaining access to the health care that you need and deserve.
Abbott also announced he is urging state lawmakers to a new benefits package for veterans. His plan includes the state providing free mental health screenings. Eliminating registration fees for startup businesses owned by veterans as well as a 5 year exemption of the franchise tax.
"You know its amazing Texas leads in the nation in job creation and yet unemployment remains stubbornly high for our veterans.
The biggest response from the group came when Abbott announced February 2nd would be Chris Kyle Day to honor the life of the vaunted navy sniper.
After wrapping up his speech, to the VFW, the Governor was asked about the combative tone and tenor here at the capitol and if he would send a message out to try to calm things down.
Open carry advocates posted this video after a controversial confrontation with a state lawmaker the first week of the session. On the 29th during the annual Muslim unity day representative molly white put an Israeli flag in her office and wanted visitors to declare allegiance to America as well as denounce terrorism. And at gathering on the south steps of the capitol -was hi-jacked by a controversial right wing blogger. The acts were not condemned Friday by Governor Abbott- although he did urge capitol visitors to display better self-control.
"We must have civil open debate of hotly contested issues in this state. Texas Values are strong enough that we can have civil discourse about issues like this and it must be done civilly so that everyone has the opportunity to weigh in on their beliefs."
His request may become even more difficult to follow as the legislative hearings and debates start to get underway.