CPPP 2017 Legislative Priorities
Articles,  Blog

CPPP 2017 Legislative Priorities

This is Ann Beeson, the Executive Director
of the Center for Public Policy Priorities. We are busy getting ready for the next Legislative
session which starts in January. We’re meeting with lawmakers wrapping up our
research projects and drafting policy solutions that will help all Texans succeed. I’m here with a quick update on our 2017 Legislative
Priorities. Because we love Texas, the Center for Public
Policy Priorities is committed to understanding what’s driving us forward and what’s holding
us back. Let’s face it, right now, too many Texans
are working full-time and are still unable to make ends meet for their families. We’ve got too many low-wage jobs and more
people without health insurance than any other state, and despite the wealth in our state,
more than 1 in 4 Texas children live in poverty. That is shameful and should be unnacceptable
in Texas. Public policies have contributed to the gap
between rich and poor in our state and public policies can close that gap. That’s why we at the Center are bringing our
data and policy solutions to the Capitol, to propose solutions that will help all Texans
reach their full potential. Here’s a quick update on what our policy wonks
will be working on this Legislative Session. First, we will work with legislators to protect
and expand access to affordable health care. Inaction by Texas leaders has put at risk
over $6 billion a year, in health care funds for Texans. Decisions in Texas and Washington could leave
over a million uninsured Texans without care that they qualify for, and also threaten over
a million more Texans with loss of their coverage under the ACA. And those funding decisions, could force more
rural hospitals to close. Hospitals that serve Texans when they need
care the most. Second we’ll work to improve the way we fund
our public schools so all Texans can get a quality education. We haven’t updated elements of our school
funding formula in over 30 years and they’re badly in need of a remodel.That’s why we’re
building a computer model that will show the impact of specific funding proposals on each
district in Texas. And we will expose the dangers of diverting
public school resources to voucher programs which are out of reach for most low-income
families and also families that live in rural areas of Texas. Finally we will make the case for public investments
that will secure a strong future for our state. To avoid drastic cuts in health care and education,
we will make the case to use part of the Rainy Day Fund if needed. That’s what it’s there for, to maintain vital
state services in the case of an economic downturn. And we’ll make sure that cities and counties
have the ability to collect the public revenue they need to suppose our schools, law enforcement,
health care and all of the other services that we rely on. Be sure to check out all of our legislative
priorities. We need your help to dare Texas to be the
best state for hard working people and their families. Let’s get to work.

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