Disability advocates keep close watch on new Texas governor
By PAUL J. WEBER
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The new Texas governor, Greg Abbott, is the first U.S. governor in nearly 30 years to use a wheelchair.
Abbott's physical limitations provide more exposure to the difficulties faced by disabled Americans, and the new governor could be an asset to organizations pressing for changes to ease the public lives of the disabled in Texas and elsewhere.
Advocates take some pride in having a governor with visible disabilities, but their optimism is muted by Abbott's record. And the Republican is making clear that his agenda doesn't include some major reforms sought by agencies representing the disabled.
Those reforms include a proposal to get Texas to stop fighting lawsuits brought under the American Disabilities Act and closing state centers for people with intellectual disabilities.