By TEXAS TRIBUNE STAFF
Abbott defeated Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke by an 11-point margin in November on a platform of tightening border security and attacking Democrats over inflation and a slowing economy. He kicks off his third four-year term in office with a legislative session in which a nearly $33 billion budget surplus looms large. Abbott has promised to use half of the surplus funds to reduce the property tax burden for homeowners. However, he faces headwinds in the form of constitutional restrictions to some of the spending and competing interests from other lawmakers.
Patrick, who serves as leader of the state Senate, where he exerts tremendous influence over legislation, also defeated his Democratic opponent in November by double digits and is entering his third four-year term. Texas does not have term limits for state officials.
The inauguration day festivities kicked off Monday afternoon with a Catholic Mass at Saint Mary Cathedral in downtown Austin.
On Tuesday, there’s a prayer service at 9 a.m. at the University Avenue Church of Christ.
Abbott will be sworn in and take the oath of office at 11 a.m. on the Texas Capitol’s north steps, which will be followed by “A Taste of Texas” —a luncheon featuring restaurants from across the state serving food on the south grounds of the Capitol. The night will finish with a “Celebration of Texas” ball at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater.
Spending on each of the last two inaugurations for the two Republicans has eclipsed that of any other in Texas for at least 40 years, The Texas Tribune reported in 2019. The last inauguration cost $5.3 million; the governor’s office said no state dollars were spent on the festivities that year.
Check out some of our previous reporting on Abbott’s time in office:
- The inauguration of Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick cost millions. But much of it went to fundraising and staff.
- What Greg Abbott’s decisive win over Beto O’Rourke portends for his future
- In Texas, where money has long dominated politics, Greg Abbott is in a league of his own
- For Abbott, a balancing act between Catholic faith and politics
'This story originally appeared on the Texas Tribune: Watch live: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s inauguration festivities | The Texas Tribune