Texas Has the 3rd Most Unfair Tax System in the U.S.

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

In Texas, we like to pride ourselves as being the standard-bearer of many things across the country. Unfortunately, our tax system leaves a lot to be desired. The latest update of Who Pays? by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals that Texas has the third most unfair (or regressive) tax system in the […]

Where Does the Gasoline Tax Go?

Dick Lavine

Texas is looking for more money for roads, and the question of how the state spends its motor fuels tax funds is likely to gain traction in the legislative session. In 2014 motor fuels tax revenue was $3.3 billion, or 6.5 percent of all state tax collections. This substantial pot of money results from the […]

Grab Your Boots, It’s Legislative Session Time

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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

Eva DeLuna Castro

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

Eva DeLuna Castro

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

Eva DeLuna Castro

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

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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 […]

Sunset Challenge: Will Services to Most Vulnerable Texans Hold Steady During a New Re-Organization?

Anne Dunkelberg2

This month’s release of the Texas Sunset Commission’s staff report on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission gave health and wellness advocates things to cheer—and also brought a few sighs and shudders. At 225 pages and 15 chapters, the report includes important research and covers a giant swath of operations and programs that are […]

Understanding the Texas Budget Process: Infographic

Eva DeLuna Castro

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 […]