Will the Senate Choose Tax Breaks Or Investments in Texas’ Future?

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

The Senate this week will consider tax giveaways that would reduce the amount available to support public services in the next state budget by $1 billion. Supporters claim these tax breaks bring businesses to Texas and encourage economic development, but every dollar lost in revenue is a dollar lost from funding for education and health […]

Wage, job requirements slashed for school property tax abatements

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

A tax abatement program that already reduces school property tax revenue by $4.2 billion would be expanded and extended by HB 3390, which passed the House on Friday, and SB 1647, which will be debated by the Senate this week. During the House debate, floor amendments were added that would nearly eliminate all job creation […]

OPED–Lawmakers have an opportunity to do more for Texas kids

“When it comes to funding priorities for Texas children, legislators appear to be facing similar tough choices as they work to finalize the state budget. The Senate and House have proposed 2014-15 budgets that, at first glance, seem to highlight different priorities for Texas kids. For example, the House proposes more state money, about $1 […]

Comparing the House and Senate’s HHS Funding

To help you understand the differences between the Senate and House budgets, we’ve broken down their health and human services funding proposals into three papers, one comparing each chamber’s investments in Medicaid and CHIP for low-income, disabled Texans and children, each chamber’s investment in mental health and substance abuse services, and each chamber’s investment in […]

We Can’t Overlook Equity When We Talk About Public Ed Funding

Chandra Villanueva

Earlier this year, Judge Dietz found the Texas school finance system to be inadequate and inequitable. The inadequacy finding was undoubtedly exasperated by the $4 billion cut in formula funding and more than $1 billion cut from educational grant programs during the 2011 legislative session. As the Legislature works to restore funding to public schools […]

Open Letter to State Budget Conferees

Today, we sent a letter to the budget conferees outlining our recommendations for reconciling the differences between the House and the Senate regarding health and human services and public and higher education. The conference committee will probably finish making its decisions by Friday, May 10. Only a few days are left for you to make […]

A better way to increase investments in communities

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

Two bills making their way quickly through the Legislature would create a “New Markets” program to grant tax credits for investments in firms that would, in turn, invest in economically distressed communities.  These bills, SB 931 and HB 2061, would cost the state nearly $300 million over a five-year period. The State of Maryland has […]

Proposals Would Take Money From Utility Assistance for Low-Income Families

The Center for Public Policy Priorities opposes SJR 55 and SB 1655, which would take money dedicated to utility-bill assistance for low-income families and instead give it to electricity consumers, including large industrial customers. The money in question is in the System Benefit Fund, created by the 1999 Legislature as part of electric utility market […]

Nifty Data App Shows Local Impact Of Family Planning Cuts

Our friends at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project have created a new online data app that shows the impact of the 2011 family planning budget cuts on local communities. Check it out here. Lead investigator Dr. Joe Potter and graduate research assistant Amanda Stevenson combed through mountains of state data to determine how each county, […]

Preliminary House Budget Doesn’t Move Education Funding Forward

Chandra Villanueva

Today, the House budget proposal hits the floor for what will likely to a marathon debate on what our 2014-15 spending will look like. When it comes to public education, the House proposal doesn’t meet the needs of Texas’ children. Here’s an excerpt from my newest policy page about school finance and the House budget […]