High Enrollment in Medicaid Expansion Benefits States

Melissa McChesney

Many Republican leaders and other conservatives have argued strongly against Medicaid expansion. The claim is that higher-than-expected expansion will cost their states too much, leaving giant holes in their budgets. However, recent reports show the opposite, and states are finding billions of dollars in savings even with tens of thousands more residents enrolling in expanded […]

Ready for a School Finance Solution

Chandra Villanueva

The right to a free public education is enshrined in Texas’ constitution to “promote the general diffusion of knowledge,” which is “essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people.” The earliest Texans knew that the state needed well-educated people who could ensure Texas’ growth and prosperity, benefiting the state as a […]

Texas’ Uninsured Rate Worst in the Nation

Melissa McChesney

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and Texas now has the biggest percentage of uninsured residents in the country—sitting just above 20 percent. Only Oklahoma (17.7 percent) and Wyoming (18.2 percent) come anywhere close. On August 10 Gallup released their most recent data on uninsured rates by state, showing a continual decline in uninsured rates […]

Back to School, Back to Court

Like many Texas parents, I’ve got that end-of-summer-vacation buzz – I’m ready for those school bells to ring! As kids head back to school and parents breathe a sigh of relief, it’s comforting to know that the right to education is enshrined in the Texas Constitution. All Texas children deserve a fair chance to compete […]

Misguided Priorities

With four days left in the Texas legislative session, I recall my fervent hope back in January – that lawmakers would put aside their differences and focus on what all Texans believe in. We all want Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families. We all want a future for our […]

10 Days Left

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With 10 days left in the 84th Legislative session, there are still a handful of major decisions pending. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re watching: The full Senate should consider HB 1624, a good bill that would help people shopping for […]

Down to the Wire

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Hundreds of bills have run out of time in the Texas Legislature, but a flurry of amendments and maneuvers mean several policy solutions – and some policy nightmares – still have a chance of passing. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re […]

The Least-Worst Way to Under-Invest

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

Tax cuts are the wrong priority – Texans would be better served if lawmakers increased investments in public services. However, as I told members of the House Ways & Means Committee late Tuesday night, if lawmakers feel they have to cut taxes, then increasing the school homestead exemption (SB 1/SJR 1 by Sen. Jane Nelson) is […]

Flat-Dollar Homestead Exemption Benefits Homeowners and Municipalities

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

In Texas, school districts grant residential homeowners a flat-dollar-amount homestead exemption of $15,000, but local governments are currently prohibited from doing the same. While they can offer percentage exemptions, the ability to offer flat-dollar-amount homestead exemptions would benefit both homeowners and local taxing entities. At present, more than 800 Texas cities, and more than half […]

Headline From the Future: Who Passed All These Short-Sighted Tax Cuts?

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

Public attention is currently focused on the large tax-cut bills that both the House and the Senate passed, in different forms. The House plan, which would reduce the rates of the sales and franchise tax, would cut the amount of General Revenue (GR) available to fund the 2016-17 budget by $4.9 billion. The Senate plan, […]