Legislative Updates

Early Voting Begins Next Week!

The members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are civic-minded and passionate about education and retirement issues. That’s why so many of you are making plans to get out and vote early for the upcoming November General Election!

Early voting begins Monday, October 24, 2016 and continues through Friday, November 4, 2016. The last day to request a ballot by mail is October 28. 

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Voter Registration Deadline Approaching, New Fact Sheet to Share with Candidates!

As the November General Election draws nearer, members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are making plans now to get to the polls!

If you are not yet registered to vote, please know that the last day to register to vote in Texas is Tuesday, October 11. Register today by clicking here

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New TRTATV Episode: Speaker Series – Brock Gregg

Brock Gregg joined the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) as the Administrative Coordinator in April. Previously, he has worked with the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE).

He joined TRTA’s Government Relations Hope Osborn on TRTATV to discuss the issues active educators are facing as the 85th Texas Legislature approaches. Retirees and actives share a mutual interest in continuing the good work of public education, as they both pay into and are serviced by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS).

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Notice: Texas Retired Teachers Foundation Donation Request Error

Recently, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF)—the charitable arm of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA)—mailed out a special request for donations to its generous donors as part of their annual appeal to raise funds for several valuable programs.

Thousands of members of TRTA are dedicated to the causes supported by TRTF, such as the retiree assistance program “A Helping Hand,” classroom assistance grants for Texas public school teachers, and the newly established Beginning Teacher Scholarship program for recent college graduates who are about to begin their careers in education.

Unfortunately, an error was made when the special request for donations was mailed, due to a mistake in sorting by the print company utilized by TRTF.

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TRS Board Meets, TRS-Care Crisis Weighs Heavily on Hearts of Retirees

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees met on September 22 and 23 for their quarterly meeting. During the meeting, long-time TRTA member and E.L. Galyean award recipient Tom Rogers provided sincere public comment as he spoke about his concerns for the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

Asking if there was any hope for a sustainable health care plan, Mr. Rogers emphasized that the original purpose of the TRS-Care Sustainability Study that was created in the summer of 2012 at the request of the Texas Legislature was stability. 

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Work on WEP Underway! Share Your Story Today!

In July, the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act (HR 711) was scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee, but received a disappointing setback when groups working on the bill couldn’t come to an agreement on the bill’s provisions.

Representative Kevin Brady (R – The Woodlands), the author of the bill and head of Ways and Means, postponed the bill until agreement could be found. Since that time, Brady has been working diligently to enhance and promote HR 711.

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TRS Answers Questions About TRS-Care Changes, Humana Plans Medicare Advantage Seminars

As the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) reported over the summer, the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program is facing changes including increased deductibles and higher co-pay costs. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees met in May and June to arrange and approve these changes in order to prevent a multi-million dollar shortfall before the Texas Legislature convenes in January 2017.

We have received numerous emails and phone calls from concerned TRTA members, and TRS has worked diligently to reply to your questions as comprehensively as possible using these new Frequently Asked Questions pages on their website.

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Local Unit Meetings Beginning, Find Yours Today

One of the best and most rewarding ways to get involved with the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is through our 250-plus local unit chapters. Local units offer opportunities for fellowship and fun, and are a community-driven entry into the world of retirement.

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Details Start to Come Into Focus for Upcoming TRS-Care Changes

Starting Sept. 1, TRS-Care participants will begin paying increased deductibles and out-of-pocket limits. These changes were approved by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) to the health care program in a June 16 Board meeting.

TRS-Care serves more than 250,000 retired educators, but its funding has been at a critically low level. Without the assurance that the health care plan would remain solvent through Aug. 2017, the TRS Board of Trustees made changes to save TRS-Care money.

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TRS Board of Trustees Talks Budget, Plans for TRS-Care

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees met today, July 29, to discuss TRS-Care and budget requests that will be made to the Texas Legislature later this summer.

TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee provided impassioned public comment, approaching the trustees with heartfelt concern about the looming TRS-Care budget crisis.

Lee stressed that the participants in the retiree health insurance program pay $1.4 billion in revenue to sustain the program annually (35 percent of the program’s total revenue), while the state pays $300 million and school districts pay $150 million per year approximately. The health care plan covers 260,000 lives, and provides a vital, quality retirement benefit.

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