First Look: The 2018-2019 Texas Budget

Eva DeLuna Castro

The Texas Senate and House of Representatives have agreed on a $217 billion 2018-2019 budget, officially named Senate Bill 1. Though the dollar amount is about the same as the 2016-2017 level of support for public and higher education, health care, public safety, and other services, the budget is actually a decrease of about 8 […]

Surprise Medical Billing Bill Signed Into Law

Stacey Pogue

Yesterday Gov. Abbott signed SB 507 into law, improving consumer protections related to surprise medical billing. Surprise out-of-network medical bills, sometimes called “balance bills,” happen when insurers and doctors fighting over prices jointly pass the buck to a patient who received out-of-network care unknowingly. The Texas Legislature has worked to address surprise medical bills consistently […]

Saturday Night Budget Deal, Explained

Eva DeLuna Castro

You may have been watching the Saturday Night Live season finale, but I was watching the real show – the Texas Senate and House budget conferees rolling out a state budget compromise. The conferees adopted the major decisions that will shape the 2018-2019 state budget. As Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson stated, “Both chambers recognize […]

Sandra Bland Act at the Capitol

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

This session Chairman Garnet Coleman authored the Sandra Bland Act (HB 2702), a comprehensive bill that aimed to change the way civilians and law enforcement officers interact. Chairman John Whitmire of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice filed the companion, SB 1849. Sandra Bland, an African American woman from Illinois, committed suicide while in a […]

Promising School Finance Bills Stuck in Texas Legislative Limbo

Chandra Kring Villanueva

A committee substitute introduced on 5/11 added special ed vouchers to HB 21. Therefore we do not support this committee substitute. Here’s why vouchers are the wrong solution.  Last month we were pleased to see the Texas House of Representatives approve a bill that would take some good steps toward remodeling our neglected school finance system. […]

Misguided Senate Bill 2 Could Tie Hands of Cities and Counties

Dick Lavine

This post was updated on 5/17/17. Texas local governments – cities, counties, community colleges and hospital districts – provide vital services to their constituents. Locally elected officials decide how to provide these services and how to pay for them, an arrangement that reflects the values and desires of local voters. The Texas Legislature is now […]

Medicaid Funding in the Texas State Budget

Anne Dunkelberg

Putting House and Senate Budget Cuts in Perspective Eva DeLuna Castro’s Comparison of the Texas Senate and House Budgets includes some of the high-level concerns about the major gaps in both chambers’ Medicaid-Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) proposals. This post and a new linked detailed table provides more details on Medicaid-CHIP, with special focus on […]

Let’s Go Back to the Future

Dick Lavine

Why talk about the 2020-21 Texas state budget when lawmakers are still deciding the 2018-19 budget? It’s because the decisions our state leaders make now will have dramatic effects on the ability of the next Legislature to support health care, public education and other key services when they return to write a budget in January […]

Remembering the Bad Old Days of High-Risk Pools

Stacey Pogue

There seems to be a lot of nostalgia among lawmakers for “high-risk pools” these days. In the past, high-risk pools offered high-cost health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions who would have been denied standard coverage by insurers. First, the latest amendment to the federal health care repeal bill would let states gut coverage guarantees […]

TX House & Senate Budgets Side by Side

Eva DeLuna Castro

CPPP recommends that the conference committee members adopt the best elements of each budget proposal to most effectively support health care, education and other essential programs and services that benefit all Texans.