Blog

01 Apr
0

Support TRS-Care Amendment

HB1 Amendments Being Considered Today

Email and Call Your Legislators and Ask Them to Support the Coleman Amendment Now!

(Take Action Now: Click here to send an email to your legislator asking for their support on this amendment)

As you read this, the Texas House of Representatives is debating HB1, the bill that determines the state budget. Today is our opportunity to reach out to our representatives and ask them to restore funding to the TRS-Care health insurance program!

Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) will speak later today on his amendment (found on page 208 of the CSHB 1 amendment packet). This may be our only opportunity in the Texas House to restore funding to TRS-Care and prevent retiree premiums from increasing 30 to 80 percent this biennium!
Representative Coleman’s amendment would restore the state contribution to TRS-Care from .5 percent to the full 1 percent. We want our legislators to vote in favor of this important amendment and in favor of public education retirees!
Click here to send an email to your legislator asking for their support on this amendment.

TRTA also encourages you to call your legislators using the toll-free Contact Your Legislator Hotline (1.888.674.3788). This line is staffed by state personnel Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Remember, TRTA members need to ask their Texas House member to vote in favor of the Garnet Coleman Amendment found on page 208 of the CSHB 1 amendment packet.

Thank you for responding to this urgent action alert and bringing attention to this vital amendment!

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31 Mar
0

TRTA Action Alert: Support Coleman Amendment

TRTA Action Alert: HB 1 to House Floor

Support the Coleman Amendment to Restore TRS-Care Funding

TRTA members have worked diligently since session began asking their legislators to restore funding to the TRS-Care health insurance program. After months of crafting their final budget recommendation, the House Appropriations Committee did NOT recommend any restoration to cuts imposed on TRS-Care or the TRS pension trust fund. This week, the House of Representatives will debate the budget proposal and have an opportunity to amend it.

Specifically, the House will have a chance to vote on an amendment filed by Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147). His amendment restores funding to the TRS-Care program to the full 1 percent level! The Texas House will have a chance to vote in favor of protecting your TRS health insurance program and help keep your premiums from increasing as much as 80 percent!

All TRTA members and anyone interested in preserving an affordable premium structure for TRS-Care participants can click this link to send an email to their legislators asking for their support on this important amendment.

In addition, TRTA encourages you to call your legislators using our toll-free Contact Your Legislator Hotline (1.888.674.3788). This line is staffed by state personnel Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Remember, TRTA members need to ask their Texas House member to vote in favor of the Garnet Coleman Amendment found on page 208 of the CSHB 1 amendment packet.

TRTA will be at the Capitol all week watching this debate and asking for member support. We need all TRTA members and everyone else interested in this important issue to contact their Texas House member.

Thank you to Representative Garnet Coleman for filing this important amendment. Thank you to all of our TRTA members and supporters for responding to this action alert. Your help will bring the necessary attention to this vital amendment!

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23 Mar
0

TRTA Day at the Capitol “Inspires” Legislators

A Great Success!

TRTA Day at the Capitol Makes Impact on Texas Legislature

More than 800 TRTA members converged on the Texas Capitol today to stress the importance of maintaining state appropriations to the TRS-Care health insurance program and TRS pension trust fund.

TRTA members delivered a message to the Texas Legislature, and it came through loud and clear…RESTORE FUNDING TO TRS AND TRS-CARE; PROTECT OUR HEALTH CARE PROGRAM!!

In addition, many legisaltors promised they would fight any effort to transition the pension fund from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

Legislators in both the Texas Senate and House recognized the work done by TRTA volunteers to improve the livelihood of all public education retirees.

Senator Robert Duncan and Representative Vicki Truitt authored resolutions recognizing this week as TRTA week. This news was met with loud applause from the hundreds of retirees taking nearly every seat in the public galleries. In fact, the Texas Senate was standing room only!

Dozens senators spoke in favor of the resolution in the Texas Senate. Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst commented that the Texas Senate budget proposal is placing a higher priority on TRS and TRS-Care.

TRTA members were encouraged to keep educating legislators about reinstating funding for the TRS-Care health insurance program.

TRTA members need to know that their participation in the TRTA Day at the Capitol made a difference for TRS retirees this legislative session! With over 800 participants attending the Capitol event, and over 2,500 emails sent in just 3 hours, legislators heard from their constituents. Many expressed a deep commitment to keep their promise to education retirees and work to restore funding to the TRS-Care program and TRS pension fund.

If you want to watch the presentation in the Texas Senate, click on the video link below. Please know you will need a version of Real Player on your computer (you may download Real Player for free here:

www.real.com).

The presentation for TRTA begins 4:00 minutes into the video and continues for 23 minutes!

Texas Senate Video Presentation Click Here

A video presentation from the Texas House session will be posted later this week when it becomes available.

The TRTA Board of Directors, State Legislative Committee, and staff cannot tell everyone who participated in today’s event, whether by being in Austin or participating virtually via email or phone, how much we appreciate you! For all you have given, done and continue to do, we thank you.

Later this week, TRTA will post pictures from our big event. Please feel free to email us pictures you have taken as well (send your photos to cindee@trta.org or laura@trta.org).

We also want to thank our state elected officials. EVERYONE worked hard to make this a great event. We extend our sincerest gratitude to state Senator Robert Duncan, Representative Vicki Truitt and their wonderful staff for making this a successful event. We also appreciate every member of the Texas Senate and House who addressed the crowd in the galleries. These heartfelt comments are appreciated.

As a final thought about how we should approach the remainder of this legislative session, consider the statement Senator Royce West offered from the floor of the Texas Senate today:

“…the question is ‘what happens when you leave.’ We need to make certain that as we weather the storms of the financial crisis that we are in, that we don’t forget our retired teachers.

TRTA will continue to push for you this entire legislative session, doing all we can to ensure that no legislator has the opportunity to forget the great service you have given to this state.

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