Supreme Court of Texas’ Latest Ruling Punishes Financially Under-Resourced Residents


UpTogether’s CEO Jesús Gerena issued the following statement about today’s Supreme Court of Texas ruling prohibiting Harris County from launching the Uplift Harris guaranteed income pilot until Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against the program is adjudicated:

Today’s shameful decision means thousands of Texas residents facing financial hardship will be denied an opportunity for financial stability and upward mobility for the unforeseeable future. By blocking Uplift Harris, the state Supreme Court has tossed aside any notion of judicial restraint and joined Ken Paxton’s ongoing circus show, in which he continues to use people’s day-to-day survival as a political football. There are no two ways about explaining what Mr. Paxton is doing — it is cruel, it is deceitful, and it is opportunistic.  

Ken Paxton disingenuously calls guaranteed income “free money.” Like Harris County, at UpTogether, we recognize guaranteed income for what it is — an investment in Texas’ best resource — its people. Paxton has no problem with state and local lawmakers throwing billions of dollars in no-strings attached subsidies and tax breaks at corporations, but he sees investing $500 a month in families as “novel,” “gratuitous” and devoid of “any measurable return.” 

Guaranteed income is not an experiment. UpTogether and our partners have invested millions of dollars in families in Texas and around the country with similar results every time. Families spend the money on basic needs, increase their housing and food security, find better jobs,  learn new skills and spend more time with their families. They also report being less stressed and having an overall improvement in their well-being.

By shutting down Uplift Harris, Paxton and the Supreme Court have blocked a pathway out of poverty for thousands of Texans. People know what’s best for their families — not Ken Paxton or the Supreme Court of Texas.

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