Gov. Rick Perry today took the oath of office for his third full term as Texas' 47th governor. In his inaugural address, the governor celebrated the priorities that have helped make Texas the best state to live, work and raise a family, and committed to strengthening those principles to ensure the Lone Star State's future remains prosperous.
"Throughout our history, in good times and bad, Texans have endured by identifying opportunities, counting the cost and outworking their competitors in the race for success," Gov. Perry said. "As we plant the seeds of opportunity that bloom beyond our years, we will show the world the endless possibilities of freedom and free enterprise, and make this century the Texas century."
Gov. Perry was joined at the inauguration ceremony by veterans from various wars in our nation's history, including World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. In the spirit of their individual sacrifices, the governor called on state leaders to remember that the dedication of these brave heroes and their defense of our nation's freedom are what make it possible for lawmakers to serve the people of Texas.
The governor noted that while there are difficult decisions to be made in the 82nd Legislative Session, the steps taken by lawmakers this year will help set Texas' course for success in the future. By living within our means and upholding the principles that have kept our state strong - low taxes, restrained spending, predictable regulations, a fair legal system, safe communities and accountable public schools - Texas will emerge even stronger, remaining a national model for economic success and accountable government.
"Texas is still the engine of America's economy, and we're proud to lead the nation in Fortune 1000 companies, international exports and job creation," Gov. Perry said. "These jobs are more than just statistics, they provide wealth and opportunity for our citizens and families."
The governor credited Texas' comparative success during these challenging economic times to policies that have fostered an environment that encourages job creation and innovation. Additionally, he called on legislators to continue strengthening Texas' public and higher education systems in order to ensure young Texans receive the education necessary to compete in the global workforce.
"We must continue investing in our people, developing young minds, grooming and attracting the best and brightest in the fields of science and medicine, and giving individuals the tools and the freedom to prosper."
Gov. Perry was also joined by a delegation of governors from several bordering Mexican states, and highlighted the long-standing cultural and economic bonds between Texas and Mexico. Gov. Perry noted that these bonds would be further strengthened by putting an end to the ongoing drug violence that has terrorized the Mexican border region, and reiterated Texas' commitment to securing our southern border in the absence of adequate federal resources.
"Our state's efforts to secure the border have made our citizens safer, and must be continued to prevent the flow of cross-border violence," Gov. Perry said. "For all of us, a secure border means a more stable economy, safer families and a brighter future."
In closing, the governor noted that Texas is leading the way out of the current economic turmoil, making this century the "Texas Century."
"We have the resources to meet our challenges, and the vision to apply them for a more prosperous future," Gov. Perry said. "As we do so, our vision must extend beyond the next 140 days, into the next decade, and the next century."
To view the governor's full remarks, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/15585/.