As Texas faces the rapidly developing news around COVID-19, we at the Center for Public Policy Priorities are first and foremost focused on the health and safety of our fellow Texans. The Governor has declared a statewide disaster, and we are monitoring developments. We stand with those affected by this crisis.
With your support, we continue to advocate for an equitable and just Texas. Texans have been struggling, and COVID-19 only exacerbates our collective struggle. Here are just a few of the ways your support impacts Texans and shapes COVID-19 public policy solutions. Your impact also builds a policy roadmap toward a stronger Texas.
Health care. You know Texas has more uninsured people than any other state (over 5 million people). This has complicated our state’s response to COVID-19. The bottom line is more Texans need access to health care coverage:
- We’re calling on the Texas Attorney General to immediately drop the health care repeal lawsuit attacking the Affordable Care Act.
- We’re asking state leaders to expand Medicaid to ensure as many Texans as possible have the security of health coverage during the crisis.
- The State of Texas should accept federal dollars to guarantee free COVID-19 testing for every Texan, regardless of coverage or immigration status.
- I just lost my job. How do I get health insurance? by Melissa McChesney and Stacey Pogue | April 22, 2020
- Where We Stand Now: Texas Updates Medicaid and CHIP Policies in Response to COVID-19, but More is Needed by Melissa McChesney and Stacey Pogue | April 21, 2020
- Private Health Insurance Improves Due to COVID-19, but More Work Needed by Stacey Pogue | April 7, 2020
- Prompt Actions Governor Abbott Must Take to Ensure Free COVID-19 Testing for Every Texan Who Needs It by Anne Dunkelberg | March 23, 2020
Food security. You believe every Texan should have access to quality, healthy food. Together, we’ve always advocated for Texans’ access to food and food security. We’re fighting to reduce red tape and barriers that deter Texas families from accessing the food they need to stay healthy.
- Texas should request that the federal government provide two months of emergency benefits to all SNAP households—as authorized by Congress—giving all families the maximum benefit for their household size. (State must request a waiver)
- Texas officials should allow non-profits with trained assistors to conduct remote application assistance for SNAP and other programs in order to comply with social distancing and ease the state agency workload. (State policy change required)
- Texas should request a waiver to allow families to spend more than one month of benefits at a time to limit the number of shopping trips families need to make. (State must request a waiver)
- Fighting Texas Hunger with Policy during the COVID-19 Crisis by Rachel Cooper | April 2, 2020
Education. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Texas college students are facing the perfect storm of health, education, financial, and familial challenges. In addition to the personal and familial housing and financial insecurity exacerbated by the crisis, students confront the additional challenges of adapting to digital classrooms, all under the severe stress caused by a global pandemic.We’re calling on Texas Attorney General Paxton and special interests to drop the lawsuit against local paid sick day ordinances passed by local communities in Texas.
- CPPP Joins Open Letter to Texas Leaders on Supporting College Students During COVID-19 by Ashley Williams| April 17, 2020
Jobs & Financial Security. In addition to being unable to afford to take unpaid time away from work, low-income service-sector workers in hospitality and retail will quickly and acutely feel the ripple effects of reduced consumer spending as employers cut back their staff or reduce hours for employees.
- Congress should permanently expand unemployment insurance coverage beyond the end of 2020.
- The Texas Workforce Commission should improve and promote Work Sharing to keep Texans in their jobs.
- Essential Workers Deserve More Than Just Praise by Mia Ibarra| April 21, 2020
- Unemployment Insurance Expands during COVID-19 but Gaps Remain by Dick Lavine and Jonathan Lewis | April 1, 2020
- New Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave for Many Texans, but It’s Not Enough by Jonathan Lewis | March 25, 2020
Budget & Taxes. You believe Texans deserve a well funded COVID-19 response.
- Our state and local governments will feel pressure from slowing revenue and higher healthcare costs. Federal leaders must support states’ ability to provide necessary services, just as they did in the 2008 Great Recession.
- What the Comptroller’s COVID-19 Comments Could Mean for Texans by Eva DeLuna Castro | April 8, 2020
- COVID-19 Hits the Texas Economy by Dick Lavine | March 25, 2020
At CPPP, we will do everything we can to support Texas leaders as they evaluate options to battle this pandemic and build policies that support everyone in our state, especially those most in need.
We are also following CDC guidelines and have instituted remote working, travel restrictions and other precautions for the health of our staff and community. Please stay tuned for updates.