You Had Me at “Early Education”

Governor Abbott’s first State of the State address started out strong, but then he lost me. I was pleased to hear the Governor declare early education his first “emergency item,” saying “our children and their future have no time for delay.” Pre-Kindergarten is the smartest and most cost-effective investment in education – yet only 52 […]

Let Local Leaders Raise Minimum Wage

Imagine looking at your paycheck and knowing it’s not enough money to pay the rent on time or buy groceries for your family. Unfortunately, too many hard-working Texans face this situation. In 2013, 39 percent of our state’s population lived in a low-income household. That’s nearly 10 million Texans who are potentially making difficult choices […]

Food and Nutrition in Texas: What You Need to Know

What did you have for breakfast today? While you try to remember, chew on these disturbing facts. 1.7 million Texas households struggled to put food on the table in 2013, one of the highest rates of household food insecurity in the country. That’s 4.7 million Texans. In a state as great as Texas, no one […]

Texas Has the 3rd Most Unfair Tax System in the U.S.

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

In Texas, we like to pride ourselves as being the standard-bearer of many things across the country. Unfortunately, our tax system leaves a lot to be desired. The latest update of Who Pays? by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals that Texas has the third most unfair (or regressive) tax system in the […]

Where Does the Gasoline Tax Go?

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

Texas is looking for more money for roads, and the question of how the state spends its motor fuels tax funds is likely to gain traction in the legislative session. In 2014 motor fuels tax revenue was $3.3 billion, or 6.5 percent of all state tax collections. This substantial pot of money results from the […]

Grab Your Boots, It’s Legislative Session Time

As the 84th Texas Legislative Session begins, I feel energized, prepared and optimistic. Really! Yes, the every-other-year legislative session can be divisive and nerve-racking. But the Capitol belongs to all of us as Texans, and these 140 days are our chance to shape the state our children will inherit. Our offices are buzzing here at […]

Cheat Sheet for the Texas Revenue Estimate

On January 12, new Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar will issue the revenue estimate for the 2016-17 budget cycle, as well as update legislators on 2014-15 state revenue collections. Perenially missing from the early stages of the official process is a clear understanding of the funding needed just to deal with growth in the number of […]

Dang, 2014 Has Been Quite a Year!

If I were to write a news headline for my first full year at CPPP, it would be “Dang, let’s dare Texas to be the best!” As we close out 2014, I’m reflecting on the incredible work we’ve done together this year. We’ve made progress on our vision of a Texas where everyone is healthy, […]

Committee Sets $7 Billion Minimum Rainy Day Fund Balance

The Joint Select Committee to Study the Balance of the Economic Stabilization Fund – commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund – met briefly this morning and adopted a $7 billion minimum balance for the fund. During the 2013 Legislature’s third special session, lawmakers passed H.B. 1, which asked voters to approve a constitutional amendment […]

What We Learned at House Appropriations This Week

On Thursday the House Appropriations committee heard from the Legislative Budget Board and the Comptroller of Public Accounts on state budget, economic, and revenue developments affecting the 2014-15 and 2016-17 two-year spending packages. Though membership of the Appropriations committee will change somewhat in January 2015, the group of lawmakers drafts the House of Representatives’ version […]