What We Heard & Didn’t Hear in the State of the State Speech

Today, the Governor delivered his 7th State of the State speech. Here are some of our takeaways… What we heard: Texas is a job creator. Actually, Texas has the third highest percentage of low-wage jobs that offer no benefits, benefits that help lift families out of poverty or keep them from falling further into poverty. […]

Health Care Boot Camp Presentations Are Now Available

Were you at the Capitol last week for the our Texas Well & Healthy Medicaid and ACA Boot Camps? The turnout was phenomenal, and we were so pleased to see so many legislative staffers and advocacy groups in the room. If you couldn’t make it, however, never fear. Now’s your chance to catch this information through our […]

Senators File A Bill To Update the Tax Code

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Is your phone loaded up with apps that you once thought would be useful, but now just take up space on your screen? Well, the State of Texas has a lot of tax breaks that once someone thought would be useful, but now just drain off tax dollars that could be used to support public […]

OPED–What can the Lege do to help TX families achieve the American Dream?

As the Texas Legislature starts drafting a budget and writing laws that reflect the state’s values and respond to the state’s needs, it should ask: What does it really take for Texas families to make ends meet and have the opportunity to move ahead? What can the Legislature do to help Texas families achieve the […]

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 […]

SB 1 Is 11% Below What’s Needed for a Better Texas

Today, the Senate Finance committee kicked off public hearings on Senate Bill 1, the proposed state budget for 2014 and 2015. At $89 billion in General Revenue, the Senate’s starting point is 8 percent below a conservative estimate of the $97 billion needed just to keep the “bare bones” budget going while retaining all the […]

Proposed SB 1 Does Nothing To Restore Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

Today, I testified at the first Senate Finance Committee hearing of the session. Below is a summary of what I shared with committee members: Last session, $5.3 billion was cut from public education – $4 billion from formula funding and $1.3 billion from education grant programs. We were told these cuts were necessary because the […]

OPED–The Governor’s Big Family

In our weekly Austin American-Statesman column, our executive director F. Scott McCown lays out why the proposed constitutional limit on spending would handcuff our future investments – By F. Scott McCown Gov. Rick Perry is right that the state should budget like a family — which is why he is wrong that state spending should […]

2013 Lege–Women’s Health

In 2011, family planning funding in Texas took a significant hit. Clinics across the state lost a total of $73 million in state funding for contraception, cancer screenings, and other preventive care services (a decision that resulted in an additional 23,800 Medicaid-funded births from unintended pregnancies, at a cost of $273 million.) Over the two […]

2013 Lege–Constitutional Limit on Spending

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Should the legislators you elect be trusted to decide how large the state budget should be, or should a rigid limit be written into the Texas Constitution so that future budgets are locked into a formula set in stone? Texas currently has a constitutional provision that caps growth in spending from certain taxes at the […]