Quick Update on the Texas Medicaid 1115 Waiver Renewal and the Health Care Coverage Gap

The costs of Texas’ inaction—not moving ahead with a plan for health care coverage and accepting federal Medicaid Expansion funds available to our state—are mounting with the passage of time. Experts estimate Texas is currently losing around $6 billion a year in federal dollars for health care because we have not closed our Texas Coverage […]

What is the Texas Coverage Gap?

Find this blog post at bit.ly/CPPPcoveragegap or download a fact sheet here. Between 750,000 and 1 million uninsured adult Texans are in the Coverage Gap, meaning they have no affordable health insurance options today, but they would be covered if our state accepted new federal health care funds that are available for their coverage. The Coverage […]

Texas Undocumented Immigrants Pay At Least $1.5 Billion in Taxes

Undocumented immigrants in Texas pay at least $1.5 billion in property, sales, and excise taxes annually, according to the new Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) report. According to the report, “these tax contributions would increase significantly if all undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States were granted a pathway to citizenship as part […]

It’s Time to Remodel Our School Finance System

Chandra Villanueva

The Texas Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision in the pending school finance lawsuit in the coming months, so get out your hard hat. The court’s decision will likely direct the Legislature to remodel the state’s public school finance system. For lawmakers, the message should be clear: Our children deserve a quality […]

Innovative Mental Health Peer Support Program Comes to Texas Jails

CPPP logo

Last week, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced it will support three peer support re-entry pilot program sites, funded through a $1 million budget rider passed by the Legislature in 2015. Mental health peer support is a cost-effective, evidence-based practice in which an individual with a lived experience of mental illness provides guidance […]

Proposed Rules for High Quality Pre-K Released

Chandra Villanueva

After hearing testimony from stakeholders on December 1, 2015, the Texas Education Agency has released the Commissioner’s proposed rules on what should be included in the criteria to qualify for the High Quality Pre-K Grant Program (HB 4). Under the proposed rules, a high quality program is defined in terms of curriculum, teacher training, and […]

The Case for a Flat-Dollar Exemption

Dick Lavine

In the 2015 session, legislators considered a promising proposed constitutional amendment to give cities, counties, and other local taxing units the option of lowering property taxes through a flat-dollar homestead exemption. The measure passed the Senate and the House Ways & Means Committee with significant support, but failed to come up for a full House […]

Meanwhile…back at the Capitol

The word “interim” comes from the Latin word for “meanwhile.” Many of us are looking ahead to the winter holidays, but meanwhile the gears are turning as lawmakers prepare for the 2017 legislative session. The interim charges that Senate and House committees will discuss in the coming months offer a preview of the policy debates […]

Pre-K Benefits are in the Details

Chandra Villanueva

If a mechanic told you she could make your car perform better, you would probably want more details before she started rearranging wires under your hood. Well, after the Texas Legislature passed the High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program (HB 4) this spring, many of us applauded the law as a good first step. Now it’s details […]

Texas Education Scorecard Grades County-level Education Success

This week CPPP released a new data tool, the Texas Education Scorecard, which compares counties on the policies and practices that affect school readiness, education funding, and transitions to college. The results are literally all over the map. All Texas kids should have a chance to succeed, but the capacity of Texas schools to prepare […]