Grab Your Boots, It’s Legislative Session Time

As the 84th Texas Legislative Session begins, I feel energized, prepared and optimistic. Really! Yes, the every-other-year legislative session can be divisive and nerve-racking. But the Capitol belongs to all of us as Texans, and these 140 days are our chance to shape the state our children will inherit. Our offices are buzzing here at […]

Cheat Sheet for the Texas Revenue Estimate

On January 12, new Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar will issue the revenue estimate for the 2016-17 budget cycle, as well as update legislators on 2014-15 state revenue collections. Perenially missing from the early stages of the official process is a clear understanding of the funding needed just to deal with growth in the number of […]

Committee Sets $7 Billion Minimum Rainy Day Fund Balance

The Joint Select Committee to Study the Balance of the Economic Stabilization Fund – commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund – met briefly this morning and adopted a $7 billion minimum balance for the fund. During the 2013 Legislature’s third special session, lawmakers passed H.B. 1, which asked voters to approve a constitutional amendment […]

What We Learned at House Appropriations This Week

On Thursday the House Appropriations committee heard from the Legislative Budget Board and the Comptroller of Public Accounts on state budget, economic, and revenue developments affecting the 2014-15 and 2016-17 two-year spending packages. Though membership of the Appropriations committee will change somewhat in January 2015, the group of lawmakers drafts the House of Representatives’ version […]

Reminder: Texas Immigration Data Show Benefits to the State Economy

With President Obama expected to announce executive action to address the enforcement of immigration policy, I wanted to highlight our recent report, Immigrants Drive the Texas Economy. There are more than 4.2 million immigrants in Texas today, which is one in six residents. Our report found that Texas immigrants work in a wide range of jobs: […]

Budget Should Meet the Growing Needs of Children In Foster Care

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Since Texas children account for nearly one of every 11 children in the U.S., our state government must continue to invest in programs and services that ensure children live in safe and loving homes. That’s why last week I visited with the Child Protection Roundtable about the Department of Family and Protective Services’ (DFPS) 2016-17 […]

Understanding the Texas Budget Process: Infographic

Preparing a biennial budget for a state as big and fast-growing as Texas is no easy feat, and understanding the process can be daunting. We designed this simple infographic on the Texas budget cycle to help demystify the process as we head into the 84th Legislative Session. Have you wondered what the Legislative Budget Board […]

This Economic Boom is Brought to You by Immigrants

The founders of our great state of Texas were immigrant newcomers from Virginia and Tennessee – Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, and Davy Crockett among them – attracted to free land, opportunity and adventure in what was then northern Mexico. According to a new study we published today at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, […]

Young and Concerned About my Future

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Am I one of the few millennials interested in the Texas budget? Many of my peers don’t appreciate how the state’s investment decisions will determine the future Texas that we all inherit. With pre-legislative session budget hearings just beginning, now is the time for us to get involved and push for funding for the things […]