2013 Lege–Medicaid & CHIP

There’s plenty happening with Medicaid and CHIP this session. The first big hurdle in 2013 will be ensuring that the “Medicaid IOU”–$3.7 billion at HHSC, and another $1 billion at DADS = $4.7 billion total–gets paid in full quickly by the 83rd Legislature, because the agencies can’t keep paying doctors, hospitals, etc. past March 2013. […]

How We Work for a Better Texas

Working for a Better Texas

Health Care Protecting and improving Texas Medicaid and CHIP will help ensure access to a decent standard of health care for millions of low-income Texas seniors, children, and families who can’t afford private insurance. Accepting the Affordable Care Act’s opportunity to cover more than a million uninsured Texas adults in Medicaid will bring billions back […]

State Leaders Have the Opportunity to Undo Devastating 2011 Cuts and Invest in Our Future

Working for a Better Texas

(AUSTIN, Texas)–January 7, 2013–The Center for Public Policy Priorities Executive Director F. Scott McCown made the following statement in response to today’s release of the biennial revenue estimate by the state comptroller. “Today Texas lawmakers heard they will have $101.4 billion in General Revenue to work with when writing the 2014-15 state budget. However, $5 […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Six

We’ve looked at what’s needed in 2014-15 to cover student or client growth and cost increases in some key state services – public and higher education, health and human services, state worker benefits, and prisons. Now it’s time to see what the “bare bones” big picture adds up to, plus get a sense of what […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Five

We wind down our series on the budget and state spending needs by looking at state employee/retiree benefits and prisons. The Employees Retirement System budget proposal for 2014-15 requires a $262 million General Revenue increase to preserve pension, health care, and insurance benefits for more than 547,000 Texans, including state workers’ dependents. Beyond that “current […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Four

Almost 1.5 million students were enrolled in credit courses at a Texas college or university in Fall 2011—more than 9 out of 10 of them at a public institution. Public community and other two-year colleges alone enroll more than half of all students in the state. Higher education funding, including financial aid, is 15 percent […]

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 […]

Big Ideas to Make Our Kids, Texas, the Southwest, & the U.S. Stronger

First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy organization that works to make children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions, has released a new report called Big Ideas: Children in the Southwest. So why focus on just kids in the Southwest? Well, as is pointed out in the report, the Southwest states (California, Arizona, […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Two

Public education is important in the Texas budget not just because it’s the biggest piece (42 percent of General Revenue spending), but because of its key role in preparing roughly 5 million students to be the college students, productive workers, and informed citizens of the future. Unfortunately, the 2011 Legislature made $5.3 billion in cuts […]

Payday Lenders Ignore Texas Legislature & City Councils

Texas is arguably ground zero in the battle to rein in excessive fees and deceptive practices from payday and auto title lenders.   Last week, the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC), the state entity that supervises credit access businesses (CABs)—also known as payday and auto title lenders—issued stern warnings to companies that appear to be […]