Groups Urge State Leaders to Protect Health Care for All Texans

Anne Dunkelberg

Earlier this month, leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to all governors and state insurance commissioners requesting input on potential changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid. The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance sent a separate letter seeking similar input to members of the Republican Governor’s Association. As Congress […]

Analysis in Brief: DARS Budget Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

On January 27, Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson (R – Flower Mound) introduced SB 2, the Senate’s starting-point 2016-17 Texas budget. Two weeks earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus (R – San Antonio) introduced HB 1, the House’s recommendations for funding state services in 2016-17. Public hearings are now underway on […]

Analysis in Brief: DFPS Budget Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

This week, I testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II on their respective starting-point budget proposals for DFPS. This testimony comes a month after the Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus (R – San Antonio) introduced HB 1, the House’s recommendations for funding state […]

Senate Public Education Investment Falls Short

Chandra Villanueva

Today the Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on the importance of investing in public education. When District Court Judge John Dietz found Texas’ school finance system to be unconstitutional last year, he did so on the grounds that Texas fails to adequately invest in public schools and the available resources are not equitably distributed. One key […]

After the School Finance Ruling: What Does it Mean for Texas?

Chandra Villanueva

Nearly two years after the filing of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas school finance system, District Court Judge John Dietz issued his final ruling. Not surprisingly, for those who follow education issues in Texas, he found the school finance system to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it is inadequate, inefficient, and […]

Why Payday & Auto Title Lending Legislation Is A Good Deal

Today CPPP sent an open letter to the Texas Senate supporting SB 1247, which would protect consumers from excessive fees totaling between $260 and $440 million over the upcoming biennium. Here’s why we are for SB 1247:     Half a loaf is better than none, particularly a $400 million loaf. SB 1247 limits the […]

Even With Senate Budget, School Districts Will Still Have Less To Spend Per Student

The chart below is based on one done in late February by State Representative Gene Wu, showing real (inflation-adjusted) spending per Texas student. The amounts for 2014 and 2015 reflect what is being proposed in the budget that the Senate will debate today.     Despite the improvements made by the Senate Finance Committee, school […]

Senate Budget Would Continue to Fall Short of Meeting Texans’ Needs

Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved CSSB 1 (Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1), which would spend $94 billion in General Revenue and $195 billion in total money on services for all Texans during fiscal 2014 and 2015, the budget cycle that starts this September. Senators in charge of the various workgroups for the […]

State Employee Retirement & The Budget

Chandra Villanueva

This week, I shared this testimony with Senate Finance Committee members on the state’s Employee Retirement System: ERS is more than just retirement income for our state employees. As a Defined-Benefit pension plan, ERS retirement benefits are: an effective tool for the recruitment and retention of a quality workforce; they strengthen the middle class by […]

HHSC Is the Most Underfunded Health Care Agency in SB1

Today, Senate Finance began hearing testimony from Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, which administer most of the state’s social services programs, such as health care for low-income Texans (4.3 million in 2013) enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP; child and adult protective services; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps; and community and nursing-home […]