FAMILY ECONOMIC SECURITY


The center works to identify and define the issues facing Texas' large low-income population. Whether it's documenting the actual amount of money it takes to support families' basic needs in every metropolitan area in Texas, or chronicling the real compromises working families make in order to survive, the center provides the data and the stories behind low- and moderate-income Texans.

Recent Family Economic Security Publications

Statement: McCown Rates PolitiFact PANTS ON FIRE for UI Column (12/19/2011)

Center for Public Policy Priorities Executive Director F. Scott McCown made the following comments on the Austin American Statesman’s PolitiFact:

“In a post on December 15, and again in today’s newspaper, the Austin American Statesman’s PolitiFact labeled ‘Mostly False’ a point made by U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett that is supported by mainstream economists, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. To that we say, PANTS ON FIRE.

Press Release: New Report Calls on Congress to Restore and Reform TANF Block Grant Funding to Help Children in Poverty; Without Restoration Texas Stands to Lose $52.7 Million (12/8/2011)

(AUSTIN, Texas) ─ Today, First Focus, a bipartisan child advocacy organization, released a report highlighting the enormous and growing gulf in funding between states to help children in poverty that is the result of flaws in the design of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The report, “TANF Supplemental Grants: Reforming and Restoring Support for Children Who Need it Most,” calls on Congress to fix these flaws and restore funding for the TANF Supplemental Grants. The annual supplemental grants provide additional TANF funding for 17 states"including $52.7 million for Texas"that have historically low spending per child in poverty.

Texas Poverty 101 (11/27/2011)

The term poverty is generally used to describe a condition of economic hardship, but it has a technical use as well: to define a specific low-income level for various family sizes. Many social services providers in Texas use this technical measure of poverty to determine eligibility for their programs. This brief report describes the official federal poverty measure, how it is used, and the extent of poverty in Texas. Shortcomings of this methodology and alternative measures of economic hardship are also discussed.

Statement: Census Bureau Releases Supplemental Poverty Measure for U.S. (11/7/2011)

The Census Bureau released new national-level poverty data today. The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) is a “work in progress” experimental measure intended to provides a more complete picture of what contributes to poverty by attempting to correct for long-argued limitations of the Official Poverty Measure. The Supplemental Poverty Measure differs from the Official Poverty Measure in many ways, such as including a broader range of expenses necessary to make ends meet (e.g., food, shelter, medical expenses, payroll taxes) and accounting for a broader range of resources such as income from tax credits and federal in-kind benefits (e.g., food stamps and housing subsidies).

Congress Threatens to Cut TANF Funding While Need Rises (09/23/2011)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is an important federal program designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency.

Nearly 4.4 million Texans live in poverty. At 17.9 percent, Texas’ poverty rate is the 8th highest among the 50 states. Children in Texas are hit particularly hard: 25.7 percent, or more than one out of four children, are living below the poverty line.

While TANF caseloads are projected to increase 7.6 percent from state fiscal year 2011 to 2013, federal funding for TANF remains stagnant and threatens to decrease.

New Census Data Show Texas' Uninsured Rate Tops Nation (09/13/2011)

The September 13 data released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey shows that in 2010, Texas remained the state with the highest uninsured rate in the nation at 24.6 percent. The total number of uninsured Texans is 6.2 million people, roughly 250,000 fewer than in 2009.

Children continued to lose coverage through their parents’ job-based insurance. A significant positive note for Texas was the decline for a second consecutive year in the number and percent of uninsured children. This improvement is largely due to more children signing up for Medicaid and CHIP’s public insurance (which more than made up for the loss in job-based coverage), showing the essential role of these programs in protecting children during economic hard times.

Get the full story in the links below.

Under Attack: Texas' Middle Class and the Opportunity Crisis (08/19/2011)

(AUSTIN, Texas) " The American Dream means working hard to learn, earn, save, and build assets so that our families are financially secure. These opportunities are in short supply in Texas. As today’s new jobs numbers show, Texas’ unemployment rate rose to 8.4 percent, marking the 23rd month the state unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent, which ties the modern-day stretch set in the wake of the 1980s oil and real estate bust (Feb. 1986-Dec. 1987). With the state’s jobless rate higher than the past two recessions, many more Texans are experiencing sharp losses in their family income. A new report released today titled, “Under Attack: Texas’ Middle Class and the Job Crisis" suggests that stagnant incomes, a lack of good-paying jobs, and a lack of health insurance are the real issues that are crippling Texas’ middle class.

The report, co-published by CPPP and national policy center Demos, examines how stagnant wages, falling union participation, the lack of good jobs and health benefits, and the rising cost of a college education are all squeezing the Texas’ middle class.

CPPP Applauds Bipartisan Effort to Reform Payday and Auto Title Lending (04/21/2011)

Over the past several years, unregulated and high-cost, short-term lending has taken a toll on Texas consumers and communities. Without state oversight, Texas consumers do not have basic protections against abusive lending practices or a way to escape the cycle of debt which traps Texans with unlimited fees. The 82nd Legislature has a unique opportunity to address these problems by enacting House Bill (HB) 2592, 2593, and 2594.

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