Legislative Updates

TRS-Care: All Member, Statewide Action Alert!

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT YOUR SENATOR: All TRTA members are asked send an email urging Senators to “Keep TRS-Care Affordable!”

The 85th Legislative Session began on January 10, 2017, and movement on issues impacting public education retirees is happening quickly! The Senate Finance Committee has met multiple times to discuss the TRS–Care health insurance program, and has appointed a special workgroup of Senators to focus solely on state-vested health care plans.

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House Committee Assignments Announced

House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) released his committee assignments for the 85th Texas Legislature today. In particular, Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) members should be aware of the House Appropriations Committee and the Pensions Committee.

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Senate Finance Work Group on Health Care Costs Meets

The special work group appointed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jane Nelson to consider cost containment measures for state-vested health care plans met today and heard testimony. 

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WATCH LIVE: Senate Finance Work Group on Health Care Costs Meeting Now!

Today, the special work group appointed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jane Nelson to consider cost containment measures for state-vested health care plans will meet and hear testimony. The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. in room E1.036 of the Texas Capitol.

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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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