Texas Can’t Afford Permanent Tax Cuts

The House Ways & Means Committee heard testimony on HB 31 and HB 32, the bills that together make up the House tax cut plan. CPPP’s wonks provided live analysis on Twitter. .@dlavine on tax cuts – Economic growth requires solid foundation of healthy and educated workforce and sound infrastructure. #txlege — Texas Forward (@TXForward) […]

Drug Testing TANF Recipients Costs More than It Saves

Rachel Cooper

In the last few months state legislatures across the country have introduced bills designed to force people in greatest need to prove they are “worthy” of receiving support. Sadly, Texas is no different. The House Human Services Committee is set to hear several bills, including HB 352 by Representative Ken King, requiring drug screening for […]

Squabbling Over the Best Way to Shortchange Our Kids

Tax cut fever continues to spread through the Capitol, and we keep asking the same question: is it appropriate or fiscally responsible to place tax cuts at the top of the agenda? State leadership seems to be prioritizing tax cuts above all else, when programs and services our businesses and families depend on are left […]

Texas House Budget: The Day After

As the dust settles on the 17-hour HB 1 debate in the Texas House, it’s worth noting what made it into the final House budget proposal, what didn’t, and what the key takeaways were. Journalists and spectators have already said plenty about the purely political or ideologically driven attacks on everything from public transit to […]

Budget Season in Texas Means Sleepless Nights

What keeps you up at night? Is it the risks of not having health insurance? The rising cost of college? Overcrowded classrooms at your child’s school? Well, it’s budget season at the Texas Capitol, and how legislators decide to invest state money could profoundly affect these and other aspects of our lives. What have we […]

Who Pays Taxes in Texas?

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Last week’s release of the 2015 Tax Exemption and Tax Incidence report by the Comptroller’s office is great reminder that Texas tax system is in dire need of a little spring-cleaning. The report reveals the unfairness of our tax system, since low-and moderate-income Texas households bear a disproportionate share of state and local taxes. The unfairness […]

Impact of Lower Oil Prices to State Revenue

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

The price of oil, which was over $100 per barrel last summer, has lately been selling at half that amount. Drilling new wells has slowed down, so we’re left to wonder: What happens to state revenue if oil and gas tax revenues fall? Here’s the answer: For every billion dollars that oil and gas production […]

Fuel for the Legislative Session

Halfway through the Texas Legislative Session, the pace is faster and the stakes are higher. Want to know what helps me ride the proverbial waves at the Capitol? Stepping just outside the pink dome. The stately old live oaks and spring-blooming trees put everything in perspective, and offer shade while I chat with concerned Texans, […]

Budget Heads to the House Floor

House budget writers left over $8 billion on the table in available general revenue, and have $2 billion in wiggle room under the spending growth cap. These funds could go a long way to increasing investments in Pre-K, community mental health services, community colleges, and other services that benefit hardworking Texans and businesses. Now these needs are competing with the tax cuts promised by leaders in both chambers.

Population Growth + Inflation Doesn’t Add Up for Texas

Imagine you move into a new house only to discover that the ceilings are only 5 feet high, forcing you to walk around hunched over. You would be outraged, uncomfortable, and unable to use your home to its full potential. There is a real danger that future legislators may find a similarly restrictive ceiling on […]