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Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick take oath of office at inauguration ceremony at Texas State Capitol

During their inaugural addresses, both Abbott and Patrick stated their priorities for the legislative session that is currently underway.

AUSTIN, Texas — Last week, Texas senators and state representatives took their oath of office as the 88th legislative session began. On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were sworn in at the steps of the Texas State Capitol.

Tuesday's events opened with a prayer service at University Avenue Church of Christ before Abbott and Patrick took the oath of office on the north steps of the Texas State Capitol.

The ceremony was followed by "A Taste of Texas" and "A Celebration of Texas" at ACL Live at the Moody Theater in the evening.

Watch the full ceremony below:

During his inaugural address on Tuesday, Patrick stated that the Texas Senate budget will include an increase in the homestead tax exemption to $70,000. He also made his case for "school choice," which would allow tax dollars to follow a student rather than directly funding public school districts.

Elsewhere on the subject of education, Patrick said that getting rid of tenure for college professors is one of his priorities, stemming from professors offering courses on critical race theory. Also on Patrick's priority list for this legislative session were adding more megawatts to the Texas power grid, securing the border and funding law enforcement in rural counties.

"We are not Washington, D.C. ... We're a family [in the Texas Legislature," Patrick said in his closing remarks, later adding, "America is looking for a leader ... Texas is that leader."

Meanwhile, in his inaugural address, Abbott said lawmakers would use the money in the budget surplus to provide the largest property tax cut to Texans. He also stressed the importance of bolstering infrastructure, including roads, water and ports.

In reference to the state power grid, Abbott noted that he passed 14 laws last legislative session to improve the grid and that there have been no grid-related power failures since. However, he added that there will be more demand as Texas grows, and improving the grid is a priority.

On the subject of education, Abbott said that Texas schools "are for education, not indoctrination," adding that schools should not push "social agendas." Turning to school safety, Abbott said that Texas "will not end this session without making our schools safer." 

The governor also said that this session, lawmakers must pass mandatory sentences for "criminals" caught with guns.

Abbott also affirmed his commitment to securing the Texas-Mexico border, noting that Texas is the only state building a border wall. He also committed to taking action on fentanyl, saying, "DPS has seized enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in the United States."

Overall, Abbott's stated priorities included property tax cuts, the state economy, infrastructure, strengthening the power grid, school choice and curriculum reform, public safety, ending easy bail policies and implementing mandatory sentences, securing the border and taking action on fentanyl.

"Together, we are going to make sure Texas remains the greatest state in the greatest country the world has ever known," Abbott said in closing.

Texas DPS said there will be an FAA Temporary Flight Restriction in place within a half-mile radius of the Texas State Capitol building during the swearing-in ceremony of Abbott and Patrick. During this time, no unmanned aircraft systems, including drones, are allowed within the Capitol’s airspace without a valid Special Governmental Airspace Waiver (SGI) from the FAA. The restrictions are in effect on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

DPS said it expected large crowds in attendance, along with heavy traffic. Those attending were asked to arrive early to allow time for parking. Parking was available at the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage, located at the corner of San Jacinto and 12th streets, on a first-come basis.

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