The Latest Viral Video–Wealth Inequality

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

Stay up with what the cool kids are watching. A study on wealth inequality went viral on YouTube this week.  Dan Ariely, best-selling author of Predictably Irrational, and a Harvard Business School professor asked Americans what their ideal distribution of wealth would be. The answer? Pretty equal. Then they asked Americans what they thought the actual distribution […]

OPED–Texas Public Pensions On Sound Footing

“Texans believe in hard work that leads to a secure retirement. We provide our public servants a secure retirement through a decent pension. At the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we recently released a major report on our state’s two largest pension plans, the Teacher Retirement System and the Employee Retirement System. Every pension plan […]

Restoring Education Should Take Priority

Chandra Villanueva

This week, I testified “on” SB 758 in a Senate Finance committee hearing because there are compelling reasons for and against undoing the Foundation School Program deferral – Deferring the FSP payment prevented even further cuts to public education last session.  Undoing this deferment now would make this tool available again the next time there is […]

TX House Pays Our Unpaid Bills & Prevents Job Losses

The Texas House has approved the first of a few supplemental spending bills that will be enacted for state fiscal 2013, which ends this August. HB 10 authorizes $4.5 billion in General Revenue needed to pay about six months’ worth of Medicaid and CHIP bills, a shortfall that was deliberately written into the 2012-13 budget during […]

Public Ed, Teacher Retirement, and the Budget

Chandra Villanueva

This week, I delivered the following testimony to the House Appropriations Committee regarding public education & Texas’ teacher retirement system: TEA: Last session, $5.3 billion was cut from public education – $4 billion from formula funding and $1.3 billion from educational grant programs. We were told these cuts were necessary because the state didn’t have the revenue […]

State Employee Retirement & The Budget

Chandra Villanueva

This week, I shared this testimony with Senate Finance Committee members on the state’s Employee Retirement System: ERS is more than just retirement income for our state employees. As a Defined-Benefit pension plan, ERS retirement benefits are: an effective tool for the recruitment and retention of a quality workforce; they strengthen the middle class by […]

TX Women Need Preventive Care, And the Lege Needs to Fund It

Having access to wellness and preventive care services like well-woman exams, cancer screenings, and birth control helps all Texas women stay healthy, plan their futures, and provide the best life they can for their families. Just ask Anavi Cantu. She’s a 29-year-old mom of three, who’s also a full-time student, from Robstown in South Texas. […]

Covering More Low-Income Adults Will Save TX Money & Bring In New Revenue

My testimony to the House Appropriations HHS subcommittee Monday highlighted large cost savings and new revenues Texas can expect if we accept the ACA opportunity to cover very low-income adults in Medicaid. You can download the full document here. 

Budget & Health Care Presentations Available To Download

Working for a Better Texas

Today, our budget & health care teams hit the Capitol to brief legislators, their staff, and advocates on what makes a better Texas budget and better Texas health care for all families in our state. Thank you to all 165 of you who could attend! If you couldn’t be there in person, we have all […]

OPED–We Need A Lot of Things More Than A Tax Cut

“During his State of the State address last week, Gov. Rick Perry wisely noted that the decisions the Legislature makes today “will determine what Texas will look like for the next 50 years.” After touting Texas as a low-tax state, the governor nonetheless recommended that we cut taxes by $1.8 billion. What would Texas look […]