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 […]

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 […]

Report: Strong School Breakfast Program in TX, Universal Breakfast Would Feed More Children

Working for a Better Texas

By Jeanie Donovan Two reports released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) show that Texas schools continue to serve a relatively high percentage of eligible students with the federal School Breakfast Program (SBP).  Compared with all 50 states, Texas ranked 7th overall for the number of children reached by the SBP.  On […]

2013 Lege–SNAP and WIC

Working for a Better Texas

By Jeanie Donovan More than 3.5 million Texans, including nearly 2 million children, rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to ensure that they don’t go to bed hungry at night. Although the program has long been a reliable and effective part of the safety net, the importance of SNAP was magnified in the […]

Initial Budget Proposals Include Cuts We Can’t Afford

Today, we learned a little about what the House and Senate budget proposals included, as well as what the Legislative Budget Board estimates is necessary to cover 2014-15 growth. We spent some time at the Capitol today doing preliminary analysis and comparing what each chamber is proposing to spend to what is needed to fund growth for […]

OPED–Visions for Lone Star Lawmakers

This weekend, Eva’s piece ran in the Austin American-Statesman’s Legislative Preview series: We believe in Texas. We believe in the people of Texas. We know it’s hard for families, especially Texas families, to admit that they need and ask for help. Recently, we documented five Texas families’ stories as they struggle to make ends meet […]