Blog

24 May
0

SB 1458 Conferees Named

TRTA Evening Update
SB 1458 Conferees Named
The Senate and House are now negotiating over the different versions of SB 1458. As you remember, the House added several amendments to the original version of SB 1458. One of those amendments added an expanded cost of living increase for TRS retirees. Other amendments provided language for a 13th check and various grandfather provisions for all TRS active employees.

The Senate conferees are: Duncan; Watson; Davis; Williams; and Seliger.

The House conferees are: Callegari, Chair; Alonzo; Branch; Allen; and Stephenson.

The conferees will prepare a report on the final negotiated version of SB 1458. Then, the Senate and House must vote to accept the bill. TRTA is working with all legislative members and our active educator friends to ensure the TRS fund is actuarially sound and that the most number of retirees are helped in this bill.

Please continue to call and thank your legislators for their ongoing efforts to ensure the TRS pension fund’s long-term solvency. The TRTA Contact Your Legislator Hotline is 1.888.674.3788.

Thank you for your continued support and action on this important bill. Time is running out, but please know that TRTA will work until the very last day of this 83rd Legislative Session to help make the TRS fund actuarially sound and provide retirees a much needed benefit increase.

On a final note, we are so grateful for those of you who have already renewed your membership in TRTA or joined as a new member. TRTA will have a special end-of-session wrap-up in the next issue of our membership news bulletin, The Voice. Be sure to renew your TRTA membership in your home-area local unit, or feel free to contact our office with any membership questions you may have (1.800.880.1650).

Our membership numbers are growing every day, but we still need your help. This legislation is very close to seeing final passage, and we will not rest until all stages of this bill are finalized! Together, we have worked to make this a good session for all current and future TRS retirees by helping make the fund actuarially sound and protecting the TRS defined benefit plan. Together, we are stronger. Together, we are the voice for all public education retirees.

Keep watching your email for more TRTA updates as we enter these final days of legislative session! THANK YOU!

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22 May
0

SB 1458 Continues to Move Through the Process

SB 1458 Continues to Progress

Senate Bill 1458, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) “actuarial soundness” bill, continues to move through the legislative process. As we mentioned in our previous update, several amendments that were added to SB 1458 as it was debated in the House of Representatives must be discussed and negotiated before the bill is finalized.

One such amendment expands the cost-of-living increase to TRS members who retired in 2004 or before. Other amendments that were adopted grandfather all non-vested active TRS employees from early-retirement penalties and provide retirees with a 13thcheck.

After the bill passed the House and was returned to the Senate for consideration, the Senate indicated that it did not concur with all of the amendments. This means the bill must now be negotiated in a conference committee.

The Senate has selected the following members to serve on the SB 1458 conference committee: Senators Robert Duncan, Wendy Davis, Kel Seliger, Kirk Watson and Tommy Williams. We expect the House conferees to be named sometime today.

TRTA will continue to meet this week with active educator groups and legislators to devise the final bill provisions.

Please know that TRTA will meet with Senate and House members to ensure that the cost-of-living increase provisions remain.

TRS Actuarial Soundness Bill and the State Budget

The Texas Legislature is in its final days. We have made big steps towards improving our TRS pension fund and helping over 195,000 TRS retirees. The fund’s improved condition will help ensure additional increases in the years to come.

The last two major legislative actions to ensure the actuarial soundness of the TRS fund and a raise for retirees is the acceptance of the SB 1458 conference committee report and the final passage of the state budget.

TRTA members are encouraged to remain in contact with their legislators and ask them to follow the leads of Senator Williams and Representative Pitts on the budget proposals, and Senator Duncan and Representative Callegari on the final adoption of the conference committee report on SB 1458. The TRTA Contact Your Legislator Hotline is 1.866.674.3788.

Click here to send an email to your legislators asking them to support the SB 1458 conference committee report!

Time is running out! We must work with our legislators to ensure that the actuarial soundness bill and budget are finally adopted. Please continue to check your emails or follow TRTA on Facebook for real-time updates on legislative progress.

Thank you for being such a vital part of our statewide, grassroots team! Without you and the input you have provided to your legislators, SB 1458 would not have passed. Now, for the first time in many years, retirees may receive some financial help and our TRS pension fund will be financially healthy for many years to come!

If you are not a member of TRTA and would like more information about joining, please contact us at 1.800.880.1650. TRTA membership is the most powerful voice in Texas protecting the TRS pension fund and working to help TRS retirees.

Our members have sent over 100,000 email messages to the Texas Legislature this session. We are strong, we are united, we are your voice! Please consider joining TRTA and help protect and improve your retirement and health care benefits. TRTA dues are $25 per year.

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20 May
0

House Passes SB 1458 on 3rd Reading

SB 1458 Passes in the Texas House

Please Click Here to Send a “Thank You” Note to your State Representative

The Texas House of Representatives passed SB 1458 unanimously on third reading today. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) “actuarial soundness” bill will now head to a conference committee, where differences between the final Senate and House versions of the bill will be discussed and negotiated.

Some of the differences between the bill include the amendments that were added from the House floor last Friday, May 17. One such amendment expands the cost-of-living increase to TRS members who retired in 2004 or before. Other amendments that were adopted grandfather all non-vested active TRS employees from early-retirement penalties and provide retirees with a 13th check.

As the bill moves into the conference committee, it is important to note that some of the adopted amendments may prevent the fund from attaining actuarial soundness. Chairman Callegari accepted the amendments in the bill debate last week, but also said they may be stripped off the bill as it moves through the final stages of the legislative process. Conference committee members will be named soon.

We still have work to do to finalize the “actuarial soundness” bill and ensure that retirees receive some help this session! TRTA will continue to meet this week with active educator groups and legislators to devise the final bill provisions.

Please know that TRTA will work with every Senate and House member to ensure that the cost-of-living increase provisions remain.

TRTA wants to thank every House member who voted “Yes!” for SB 1458. Please click here to send a short thank you note to your Representative for their positive vote!

You may also use our TRTA Call Your Legislator Hotline to contact your Representative and thank them for their work and support. The toll-free number is 1.888.674.3788.

Click here to view the list of who voted “Yes.” Please bear in mind the vote was unanimous, and any legislators who did not vote may have been excused for other meetings.

TRTA will continue to update you as the bill moves through the process.

Thank you for all of your hard work this session! We have come a long way, and we don’t want to lose the tremendous progress we have made! Please continue to read the Inside Line for any important advocacy alerts that may be needed as the 83rd Legislative Session draws to a close.

If you are not a member of TRTA and would like more information about joining our statewide grassroots advocacy efforts, please give us a call at 1.800.880.1650.

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