Mental Health & The Budget

Katharine Ligon

This week, I submitted and delivered the following testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in regards to mental health funding in Texas: My name is Katharine Ligon.  I am the Mental Health Policy Analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities.  I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today, specifically to address the budget […]

Medicaid, Family Planning, and SB1

Today, our associate director and senior health policy analyst Anne Dunkelberg testified on the benefits of strengthening Medicaid, as well as funding women’s health & family planning in Texas, at the Senate Finance Committee hearing. You can access her written testimony here.

HHSC Is the Most Underfunded Health Care Agency in SB1

Today, Senate Finance began hearing testimony from Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, which administer most of the state’s social services programs, such as health care for low-income Texans (4.3 million in 2013) enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP; child and adult protective services; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps; and community and nursing-home […]

Study–Texas Has the 5th Most Unfair Tax System

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

We’re #5! You have heard many times how Texas ranks 38th on state spending on public schools and 50th on state spending overall per resident.  Well, finally Texas ranks 5th in something. Unfortunately, it’s in the ranking of how unfair our state and local tax system is. Texas asks its lowest income families to pay […]

What We Heard & Didn’t Hear in the State of the State Speech

Today, the Governor delivered his 7th State of the State speech. Here are some of our takeaways… What we heard: Texas is a job creator. Actually, Texas has the third highest percentage of low-wage jobs that offer no benefits, benefits that help lift families out of poverty or keep them from falling further into poverty. […]

Senators File A Bill To Update the Tax Code

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

Is your phone loaded up with apps that you once thought would be useful, but now just take up space on your screen? Well, the State of Texas has a lot of tax breaks that once someone thought would be useful, but now just drain off tax dollars that could be used to support public […]

SB 1 Is 11% Below What’s Needed for a Better Texas

Today, the Senate Finance committee kicked off public hearings on Senate Bill 1, the proposed state budget for 2014 and 2015. At $89 billion in General Revenue, the Senate’s starting point is 8 percent below a conservative estimate of the $97 billion needed just to keep the “bare bones” budget going while retaining all the […]

Proposed SB 1 Does Nothing To Restore Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

Today, I testified at the first Senate Finance Committee hearing of the session. Below is a summary of what I shared with committee members: Last session, $5.3 billion was cut from public education – $4 billion from formula funding and $1.3 billion from education grant programs. We were told these cuts were necessary because the […]

OPED–The Governor’s Big Family

In our weekly Austin American-Statesman column, our executive director F. Scott McCown lays out why the proposed constitutional limit on spending would handcuff our future investments – By F. Scott McCown Gov. Rick Perry is right that the state should budget like a family — which is why he is wrong that state spending should […]

2013 Lege–Women’s Health

In 2011, family planning funding in Texas took a significant hit. Clinics across the state lost a total of $73 million in state funding for contraception, cancer screenings, and other preventive care services (a decision that resulted in an additional 23,800 Medicaid-funded births from unintended pregnancies, at a cost of $273 million.) Over the two […]