The Budget Puzzle–Part Five

We wind down our series on the budget and state spending needs by looking at state employee/retiree benefits and prisons. The Employees Retirement System budget proposal for 2014-15 requires a $262 million General Revenue increase to preserve pension, health care, and insurance benefits for more than 547,000 Texans, including state workers’ dependents. Beyond that “current […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Three

The 2014-15 consolidated HHS proposal to provide CHIP and Medicaid-supported health care, Early Childhood Intervention programs, foster care/child protective services, state hospitals, and various public health and nutrition services includes the following: a $1.4 billion General Revenue baseline increase (from $27.7 billion in 2012-13, after paying the Medicaid I.O.U., to $29.1 billion in 2014-15); $1.6 […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Two

Public education is important in the Texas budget not just because it’s the biggest piece (42 percent of General Revenue spending), but because of its key role in preparing roughly 5 million students to be the college students, productive workers, and informed citizens of the future. Unfortunately, the 2011 Legislature made $5.3 billion in cuts […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part One

With three weeks remaining before the 83rd Session starts, one major piece of the budget puzzle is missing–the total amount of money our state legislators will have as they tackle the 2014-15 budget. The state comptroller will add this piece to the puzzle before Jan. 8, and based on recent sales tax improvements, more money […]

“A Fighting Chance” Is Now Online

Last week, our documentary “A Fighting Chance” aired on KLRU-Austin PBS, followed by a moving Civic Summit panel discussion about the struggles Texas families face just to meet their basic needs. The full 26-minute documentary is now live on our YouTube channel, and you watch the Civic Summit on KLRU’s website. We want to thank […]

Less Business Tax Revenue Means Less Money for Public Investments

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

You may have heard of the influential right-wing organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. The organization promotes policies to cut taxes and regulations in the guise of promoting economic growth–the favorite approach of the Governor and Texas Legislature. But what ALEC’s policies really do is reduce services, opportunity and accountability. A new […]

CPPP in the News

We thought we’d share two particularly fun and poignant stories from today that quote CPPP: CultureMapATX, an online magazine about all things life and culture in Austin, featured our documentary “A Fighting Chance” in anticipation of tonight’s KLRU Civic Summit, which will air on the Austin PBS station starting at 8 p.m. Tune in watch […]

OPED: In Texas, Everyone Deserves a Fighting Chance

This weekend, we contributed a piece to the Austin American-Statesman’s legislative series. You can read the full oped below, which originally ran in the Statesman on Sunday, Dec. 9: Sarah Campsey’s children are her world. She’d sacrifice anything to give them the best life she can. Three years ago, Sarah had to choose between keeping […]

Small Business Owners See A Role For Government in Helping Business Thrive

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Small businesses are described by politicians as self-made entrepreneurs who built their companies “on their own,” and therefore oppose “job-killing taxation.” But a nationwide scientific opinion poll conducted in October found that the majority of small business owners—more of whom identify as Republican (47 percent) than Democrat (35 percent) —  see a productive role for government […]

Texas’ Income Gap Is the 7th Highest in the U.S.

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

The income gap between the Texas families at the top and bottom of the income ladder is the 7th highest in the nation, according to a new report by two national research organizations. The average household income for the richest one-fifth of Texas households is 8.6 times greater than the average for the poorest one-fifth.  […]