Click here to contact your legislator, and ask them to support TRS-Care funding!
The Texas Legislature’s special session will soon be over, and the clock is ticking to pass bills related to TRS-Care reform. The special session will come to a close next Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 12 PM. Two bills, HB 20 and SB 19, have been passed out of their respective chambers, and each proposes a similar result: $212.7 million in funding for TRS-Care to reduce pre-65 retirees’ deductibles and premiums. However, these bills have a point of contention between the House and the Senate, their funding mechanism.
HB 20 would take the money from the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF). SB 19 would take its money from deferred payments to Medicaid managed care organizations.
The philosophical divide between the two chambers must be resolved for either of these bills to be signed into law. Many newspapers and digital publications have keyed into this issue, and are providing heartfelt stories of retired teachers in need.
The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) needs your help today. Contact your legislators using our Action Alert, and ask them to support a speedy resolution to finding more TRS-Care funding. Remind your legislators that you appreciate their hard work and attention to this issue.
Let them know that retired educators are more than just spectators, but willing participants who already have considerable skin in the game. We need the legislators to work together to find a solution to the funding problem.
House Appropriations Committee Meets, Discusses Alternative Revenue Sources For TRS-Care
The Texas House Appropriations committee, chaired by Rep. John Zerwas (R-Katy) met today to discuss three bills, HB 52, HB 363 and HB 367, which would create additional funding sources for TRS-Care. Each of these bills is related to using funds that would go towards the Economic Stabilization Fund for TRS-Care.
TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee testified in favor of the bills at the committee meeting. However, he cautioned the legislators that the creation of a new funding source for TRS-Care should not take away or replace any current funding sources. He pointed to the rising health care costs for public servants as a reason to avoid replacing any funding sources.
“Our objective is to make sure the Legislature is not supplanting dollars,” Lee said. “Teaching can not be the path to poverty as a profession in this state, and we have to be able to do something to shore up these funds.”
These bills represent another attempt to free up dollars for the priorities of public education and health care for retired educators. TRTA is grateful for these discussions and hopeful that legislators will find a way to compromise during the current special session to pass legislation directed at financial relief for retired educators.
Thank you for your membership to the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). If you are not yet a member of TRTA, please join today.