Open Letter to State Budget Conferees

Today, we sent a letter to the budget conferees outlining our recommendations for reconciling the differences between the House and the Senate regarding health and human services and public and higher education. The conference committee will probably finish making its decisions by Friday, May 10. Only a few days are left for you to make […]

211 Data: Austin-area residents struggling to make ends meet

We believe that every Texas family has the right to live a safe and healthy life. That means stable housing, nutritious food on the table, and access to a good education and training for the jobs of today . . . and tomorrow. Recent data from the United Way of Greater Austin’s 211 Navigation Center […]

OPED–Working Toward A Stronger Mental Health System

Katharine Ligon

“As the nation mourns for the lives lost and traumatized by the tragedies in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Tucson, Ariz., and College Station, people are talking about the importance of mental health services. We shouldn’t stigmatize people with mental illness, who are in fact more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Nonetheless, we […]

OPED–Texans Need Better Health Coverage

In his weekly Austin American-Statesman column, our executive director F. Scott McCown writes about how important health insurance is to Texans, and how strengthening Medicaid would boost our state’s future – “Last April, I was diagnosed with leukemia. My only symptom was a persistent low-grade fever. Without health insurance, I wouldn’t have gone to the […]

Budget & Health Care Presentations Available To Download

Working for a Better Texas

Today, our budget & health care teams hit the Capitol to brief legislators, their staff, and advocates on what makes a better Texas budget and better Texas health care for all families in our state. Thank you to all 165 of you who could attend! If you couldn’t be there in person, we have all […]

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 […]

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 […]

New Tool Highlights What Texas Families Must Earn to Meet Basic Needs

Today we released a new data tool that finds that what a two-parent household with two children in Texas must earn to cover basic expenses like affordable housing, food, child care, and health care ranges from $35,320 a year in Abilene to $50,023 a year in Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos, and that’s without family, community, or […]

2013 Lege–Mental Health

Katharine Ligon

This is the first legislative session the Center will have a dedicated staff member to focus on issues related to behavioral health.  In this position I will research, analyze and advocate for policies and fiscal matters that enhance the quality and capacity of mental health and substance abuse services and treatment in Texas. There will […]

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 […]