The week of September 19, 2022 has several legislative events that are relevant to members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). TRTA will be viewing or participating in all these events and will report on any results via The Inside Line.
Tuesday, September 20
- 9:00 a.m.: U.S. House Ways and Means Committee
The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. Central time to do a markup on H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021. TRTA staff watch the committee hearing live and report on any activity affecting the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO).
A live link to the online webcast of the meeting will be available from this link once the meeting has started.
- 10:00 a.m.: Texas House Public Education Committee
TRS will testify at the Texas House Public Education Committee on September 20. The committee will be evaluating the impact of the pandemic on the state’s teacher workforce, and current practices to improve the recruitment, preparation, and retention of high-quality educators. TRS will address issues around retirees returning to work.
TRTA has been invited to testify during this hearing about potential barriers for retirees returning to work. A live link to the hearing will be available from this website when it begins at 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, September 21
- 11:00 a.m.: TRS Legislative Appropriations Request Hearing
TRS will present its legislative appropriations request (LAR) to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) on Wednesday, September 21 at 11:00 a.m. in Room E2.026 of the Capitol Extension building.
The LBB is a permanent joint committee of the Texas Legislature that develops budget and policy recommendations for legislative appropriations and completes fiscal analyses for proposed legislation. The meeting is a standard part of the process for all state agencies ahead of the next legislative session.
TRS will present its FY 2024-25 budget request, which includes contribution increases from the state, employers, and active employees in the final installment from SB 12 passed in 2019 to make the system actuarially sound. According to TRS, the agency cannot request a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their budget, per statute, but the need for a COLA will be highlighted in Executive Director Guthrie’s administrative statement.
TRTA will testify about the need for the Legislature to provide a substantial and meaningful COLA in the upcoming session.
Your Membership Matters!
Our members know that the ongoing fight for a much-needed COLA begins now, not when the next legislative session begins in January 2023. That is just one reason your membership matters so much! TRTA is a strong, organized advocacy group only because we have members who are willing to support us, every step of the way on the path to a COLA.
This week’s hearings are one great example of the groundwork we must start laying now. Only the Texas Legislature can pass a COLA for our deserving retired public education employees. Please, if you have not done so already, renew your dues today. And ask your friends and former colleagues to join with us in this very important fight! The more members we have, the louder and stronger our voice becomes!