Legislative Updates

Senate Finance Committee Continues Discussions on Funding Health Care

Today, February 1, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee met to continue its discussion about funding vital programs in the state budget, including the TRS-Care retiree health insurance plan.

The committee’s discussion picks up from a meeting held on January 24. You can read TRTA’s comprehensive overview of last week’s meeting by clicking here.

Funding for TRS-Care, the health insurance plan that covers more than 250,000 lives, is a major concern for public education retirees this session, as the program faces a $1.1 billion shortfall. During the previous legislative session in 2015, a similar shortfall of $768 million was covered by the state. It was understood at the time that the infusion of funds was a temporary fix for a program that needed long-term solutions.

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Take Our TRS-Care Survey

The Texas Senate Finance Committee is set to hear testimony on costs surrounding the state-run teacher retirement health care program, TRS-Care, on Wednesday, February 1. The hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m.

The Executive Director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), Tim Lee, will be testifying on behalf of retirees.

If you are a TRS-Care participant, please complete this anonymous survey. With enough participation, TRTA will be able to provide the committee with more information about the impact of funding TRS-Care.

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Texas Retired Teachers Foundation Scholarship and Grant Applications Now Available!

Most of the members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know about and support our organization’s charitable arm, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF). The Foundation operates several wonderful programs for Texas educators of the past, present, and future, including scholarships and grants!

This year, TRTF is offering a great new opportunity for soon-to-be or recent college graduates who will be first-year teachers by the fall. The Beginning Teacher Scholarship provides funds to reimburse these future educators with certification test expenses or to help them purchase supplies for their very first classroom.

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Senate Finance Committee Meeting Overview: The First of Many Discussions to Come

On January 24, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee met to discuss several state budget items, including requests from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) for the pension fund and the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

The committee began its budget discussions with Article III, which includes all agencies affiliated with education. Chairman Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is a former teacher, and she explained her reasoning for beginning budget discussions with Article III.

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Senate Finance Committee Meets, Discusses Teacher Retirement System Budget Requests

Today, January 24, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee met to discuss several state budget items, including requests from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) for the pension fund and the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

Today's meeting was just the beginning of numerous budget discussions to be had over the course of the legislative session. 

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Senate Finance Hearing Today, New Budget Workgroup for TRS-Care Announced!

Yesterday (Monday, January 23), Texas Senate Finance Chairman Jane Nelson announced a special Senate budget workgroup to discuss rising health care costs for TRS, ERS, Medicaid and other state-vested health care systems.

The workgroup is a vital step in resolving lingering funding issues with TRS-Care. The following Senators will serve on the workgroup: Charles Schwertner, Chair; Joan Huffman; Lois Kolkhorst; Robert Nichols; Carlos Uresti; Kirk Watson; and John Whitmire.

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Senate Finance Meets Tomorrow! Contact Your State Senators Today!

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL YOUR SENATOR

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is so grateful for its members, who continue to be proactive and focused on pertinent issues this legislative session!

TRTA members already have sent more than 1,700 emails to their Senators about tomorrow’s very important Senate Finance meeting. If you have not emailed your Senator yet, please do so today!

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TRTA Member Action Alert: Senate Finance Committee to Meet Tuesday!

As the 85th Legislative Session begins moving at breakneck speed, committees are already meeting and discussing issues vital to your retirement security! (See a list of all Senate Committees and their members by clicking here).

On Tuesday, January 24, the Senate Finance Committee will hear from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) regarding their Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Included in this request is funding for the financially burdened TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

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85th Legislative Session Underway

The 85th Session of the Texas Legislature began yesterday, January 10, 2017. Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) eagerly have awaited the opportunity to welcome returning and newly elected officials to the Texas Capitol, and are ready to work with all Senators and Representatives to protect public education retirees’ vital benefits.

Though session began yesterday, many bills were filed prior to the beginning of session, including some that pertain to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund.

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Happy New Year From the Texas Retired Teachers Association!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is ready to move forward in 2017 thanks to the determination and steadfast support of our 80,000 members all across this great state!

The TRTA staff returned to the office on January 3. Staff members are answering pertinent questions about the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program, processing membership dues and convention registrations, and returning members’ emails and phone calls.

We have been very busy! We are thrilled to share in the enthusiasm that our members are showing in the first few days of the year, and with this momentum, we can accomplish great things in the legislative session that begins on Tuesday, January 10.

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