When crisis and calamity take jobs away, the market economy alone cannot provide working people the help they need to make ends meet. That is where the Texas Unemployment Insurance system comes in. While the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, overwhelming the Texas Workforce Commission’s ability to serve applicants on a timely basis, it has also exposed structural weaknesses in the system. The millions of workers who lost jobs through layoffs or furloughs have had extraordinary difficulty applying for and accessing benefits. To modernize a critical earned benefit and better serve the needs of Texans, the Texas AFL-CIO and Every Texan (formerly known as the Center for Public Policy Priorities) propose the following reforms.
Capital gains wealth tax, Working Families Tax Credit, and investments in kids will boost recovery, enhance the quality of life.
Government works best when it works for all people, not just the wealthy few and corporations. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) approaches economic recovery from the ground up by helping people pay the rent, feed their families, fix the car and resume their lives after an unprecedented pandemic and recession.
From the rubble of a chaotic legislative process rises a record-breaking state budget that funds the immediate needs of New Jersey’s pandemic recovery, invests in key public assets, and pays down billions of dollars of current and future debt. Buoyed by stronger-than-expected income and sales tax collections, the $46.4 billion spending bill is approximately 15 percent bigger than last year’s budget. A large portion of the unexpected surplus is directed toward long-standing obligations like the public employee pension system and debt service on borrowing — as it should. By almost every metric, this budget sets the foundation for a strong recovery and addresses fiscal issues that have plagued the state for decades. At the same time, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget misses a significant opportunity to enact bold, transformative changes that directly address centuries of racial and economic inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic.