How Texas Education Chief Gave $100 Million to Rich Homeowners

Dick Lavine

Recently the Texas Education Commissioner changed the interpretation of a long-standing statue in order to give $100 million to wealthy homeowners in wealthy school districts. KEY TAKEAWAYS: *It’s understandable that school districts have concerns about the underfunding of the Texas public school finance system and want state leaders to make changes. *But a sudden, under-the-radar […]

Important Mental Health Bills Would Assure Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

Texans in need of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care too often experience barriers to assistance because insurance companies fail to comply with mental health parity laws. Mental health parity means that insurance benefits for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care are equal to coverage for physical health care. For example, […]

Misguided Senate Bill 2 Could Tie Hands of Cities and Counties

Dick Lavine

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 threatening to interfere in these local […]

How an ACA Repeal Would Harm Texans

Anne Dunkelberg

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment deadline just one week away, it’s important to outline how important the landmark health law has been for Texans. Over 1.1 million Texans have selected plans in the health insurance Marketplace so far, with 27 percent of them being new to the Marketplace this year.  In our […]

Good News on Mental Health in Texas

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

Building on the state’s recent progress in mental health capacity and quality is a top priority for lawmakers this Legislative Session, as identified in the interim report by the House Select Committee on Mental Health. CPPP is pleased to see this comprehensive and timely report. The report provides a detailed review of eight public hearings […]

A Dangerous Sign for Legislative Transparency

Dick Lavine

Update, 2/1/2017: The Legislative Budget Board’s GEER staff report is out. Read it here. Today at a Senate Finance Committee Hearing, Legislative Budget Board Director Ursula Parks stated that Lt. Governor Dan Patrick had instructed the LBB not to release the Government Effectiveness and Efficiency Report (GEER) this year. The 2015 GEER was full of […]

An Unrealistic Budget Starting Point

Ann Beeson

This week the Senate Finance Committee begins hearings on its proposed budget, Senate Bill 1. The hearings follow the release last week of both the Senate and House draft budgets for the 2018-2019 budget cycle. The Senate budget proposal (Senate Bill 1) is not grounded in reality and is full of drastic cuts to essential […]

Texas Senate Budget Proposal Is Worse Than You Think

Eva DeLuna Castro

On January 24, the Texas Senate Finance Committee will hear invited and public testimony on its 2018 and 2019 budget proposals for the Texas Education Agency, Teacher Retirement System, and other public school and higher education services that receive state funding. Public testimony on health and human services is scheduled for Tuesday, January 31. These […]

Here’s what to look for in today’s Budget Bills

Eva DeLuna Castro

Here’s what we know so far Today, the Senate and House released starting-point budgets for education, health care, and other state-funded services in 2018 and 2019. Each legislative chamber will hold public hearings on the proposals (SB 1 and HB 1) and “mark up” their respective drafts for full Senate and House approval. Then, before […]

Stay alert; it’s #txlege time

Ann Beeson

It’s time to stay alert and get engaged – at every level of government. While the shifting climate in Washington is grabbing the headlines, the Texas Legislature kicks off its every-other-year session this week to enact policies that will impact the lives of every Texan and the future of our great state. The stakes for […]