Countdown to Coverage: Uninsured and Unbanked

By Laura Rosen and Lauren Stebbins The October 1, 2013 opening day for Affordable Care Act Marketplaces is quickly approaching. While the new Health Insurance Marketplace is being established to reduce the numbers of uninsured, another effort is underway to ensure that unbanked individuals don’t face unnecessary barriers in getting health insurance.   Currently, insurance companies […]

Sizing Up the Texas Budget: Student Financial Aid

CPPP Leslie Helmcamp

Jordan dreamt of being the first in her family to graduate from college. But she never imagined that dream would come at a cost of more than $20,000 in student debt while working two jobs and attending school full time. Each year, more than 40,000 economically disadvantaged high school seniors enroll in Texas colleges. And […]

2013 Lege Wrap-Up: Payday Lending Reform

The 2013 regular legislative session ended without the passage of any payday and auto title lending reform. As a result, the Legislature missed a critical opportunity to protect Texas consumers from excessive fees and unnecessary auto repossessions by failing to pass SB 1247, the omnibus reform bill filed by Sen. John Carona.  This bill included the […]

To Improve Financial Stability of SNAP Households, TX Should Remove Asset Test

Working for a Better Texas

By Jeanie Donovan When a Texas family is struggling to make ends meet or having trouble keeping food on the table, they may turn to SNAP (formerly food stamps) to help them through that difficult economic time.  Like most safety net programs, SNAP is “means-tested” to ensure that only applicants with limited resources receive assistance. […]

HB 2662 Would Help Texas Students Build Brighter Financial Futures

Last week, the House Public Education committee heard Rep. Marsha Farney’s bill (HB 2662) to create a semester-long personal financial literacy course required for high school graduation and I provided testimony in support of this bill. A stand-alone personal financial literacy (PFL) course in high school would better equip Texas students with real-world skills that […]

Tax Time: An Important Season To Build Texans’ Financial Futures

Tax season is here. For many Texas families, the substantial tax refund they will get back is vital to their overall budget.  Last tax season, 2.6 million Texans claimed the EITC, earning back $6.9 billion or approximately $2,600 per filer.  Because tax refunds represent the largest lump-sum payment for the entire year, tax-time creates an […]

OPED–Embrace Tax Policies That Encourage Savings

Tax season is here. For many Texas families, the substantial tax refund they will get back is vital to their overall budget. The Earned Income Tax Credit the most successful income supplement for working families, lifting millions of Americans, including about 765,000 Texans, out of poverty. Low-income children in families that receive the tax credit […]

Why Payday & Auto Title Lending Legislation Is A Good Deal

Today CPPP sent an open letter to the Texas Senate supporting SB 1247, which would protect consumers from excessive fees totaling between $260 and $440 million over the upcoming biennium. Here’s why we are for SB 1247:     Half a loaf is better than none, particularly a $400 million loaf. SB 1247 limits the […]

Texas Still Has Time For A Much Needed Boost To Financial Aid

CPPP Leslie Helmcamp

If the Legislature is serious about preparing the Texas workforce for future jobs, we need greater investment in higher education that empowers more low-income students to enter and complete college. This Thursday, the Texas House has the opportunity to add more funding to the state’s financial aid programs—proven tools to increase college access and success— […]

Payday Lending Reform Bill Stripped Of Consumer Protections

Last week, meaningful payday and auto title reform turned to mush as industry interests reneged and rewrote the legislation to strip out many of the basic protections included in the original SB 1247.   This bill, which would preempt local action to control these unaffordable transactions, is stuck in the Senate Business & Commerce Committee after […]