TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Former Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen shared his thoughts with KETK about Gov. Abbott’s Monday night State of the State address.
Bonnen has been a member of the Texas House of Representatives since 1997 but did not run for re-election in 2020. Though he is no longer a state legislator, he’s closely keeping up with his former colleagues in Austin.
As vaccines continue to roll out across Texas, Bonnen said he thinks Gov. Abbott is doing an exceptional job leading during the pandemic.
“The reality of it is, nobody would have asked to have this pandemic,” Bonnen said. “No one wants this. No elected leader would like to have to govern through it, but Governor Abbott has done the hard work, made the hard choices, and has kept Texas safe to the best of the ability in the pandemic.”
Bonnen also shared his thoughts about recent events, including the latest news that the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee advanced Tom Vilsack’s nomination as agriculture secretary in a unanimous vote Tuesday.
“Ag is a key component to the Texas economy, and I certainly hope that the ag secretary under any administration, whether it’s a Republican or Democrat administration, is going to be a voice, a strong voice, on the ag community in America,” Bonnen said.
As a new administration settles in the White House, energy policies are changing. With Texas being a leader in the energy field, Bonnen says President Biden’s new policies are cause for concern.
“We’re very concerned, because throughout Texas, as Governor Abbott mentioned last night, we have for 16 straight years been the number one state in the nation for job growth, job environment, job development,” Bonnen said. “In Texas, we don’t like having to replace 11,000 jobs that President Biden has killed by killing the Keystone Pipeline, we’d like to add 11,000 jobs on top of those.”
According to Bonnen, Biden immediately targeted the oil and gas industry after taking office, which was a blow to the state of Texas.
“We have to recover the jobs that the Biden administration is taking from us,” Bonnen said. “They’re also hurting energy independence, which is a security issue for this country. But Texas will do better because we always have, and we always will under the good leadership of Gov. Abbott.”