The Budget Puzzle–Part Three

The 2014-15 consolidated HHS proposal to provide CHIP and Medicaid-supported health care, Early Childhood Intervention programs, foster care/child protective services, state hospitals, and various public health and nutrition services includes the following: a $1.4 billion General Revenue baseline increase (from $27.7 billion in 2012-13, after paying the Medicaid I.O.U., to $29.1 billion in 2014-15); $1.6 […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Two

Public education is important in the Texas budget not just because it’s the biggest piece (42 percent of General Revenue spending), but because of its key role in preparing roughly 5 million students to be the college students, productive workers, and informed citizens of the future. Unfortunately, the 2011 Legislature made $5.3 billion in cuts […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part One

With three weeks remaining before the 83rd Session starts, one major piece of the budget puzzle is missing–the total amount of money our state legislators will have as they tackle the 2014-15 budget. The state comptroller will add this piece to the puzzle before Jan. 8, and based on recent sales tax improvements, more money […]

Less Business Tax Revenue Means Less Money for Public Investments

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

You may have heard of the influential right-wing organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. The organization promotes policies to cut taxes and regulations in the guise of promoting economic growth–the favorite approach of the Governor and Texas Legislature. But what ALEC’s policies really do is reduce services, opportunity and accountability. A new […]

Texas’ Income Gap Is the 7th Highest in the U.S.

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

The income gap between the Texas families at the top and bottom of the income ladder is the 7th highest in the nation, according to a new report by two national research organizations. The average household income for the richest one-fifth of Texas households is 8.6 times greater than the average for the poorest one-fifth.  […]

A Post-Election Tale of Two Birds

By F. Scott McCown Leading up to yesterday’s election, Americans expressed a strong hunger for elected officials who would maturely put country first.  Now that the elections are over, we urge our elected officials to do just that—and a good place to start is with our fiscal problems both in Washington and in Austin. Federal […]

TexasForward and the Petition to Restore Education and Health Care

TexasForward Coalition Meeting

By Mia Ibarra TexasForward, a broad-based revenue coalition promoting a balanced approach to state budget decisions, held its quarterly membership meeting on Friday, October 26. Representatives from many of the coalition’s 53 member organizations gathered in Austin to strategize for the upcoming legislative session. While the Texas economy is recovering and 2012 sales tax revenue […]

Clearing Up the Brewhaha

Dick Lavine

By Dick Lavine Let’s try this again – the beer tax I mentioned recently was just a simple-to-understand example of why the Legislature needs to  go through the Tax Code with a fine-tooth comb. Last year, the Legislature cut our schools’ budget by billions of dollars, leading to bigger classes and fewer extracurricular activities.  Getting […]

What We Should Be Talking About When We Talk About Public Ed

Chandra Villanueva

By Chandra Villanueva Texas is responsible for educating 5 million kids, and 60 percent of those kids are poor. We have an obligation to ensure that every child succeeds in school today so they can be ready for college and careers. As we approach this legislative session, the conversation around Texas public education has been […]