SB 1458 Passes House Unanimously: Actuarial Soundness Bill on the Way to Governor’s Desk!
Today, the Texas House adopted the final changes to SB 1458 (the “TRS actuarial soundness bill”), and the bill is now on its way to Governor Perry.
The House’s action was the last step for the bill in the Texas Legislature. Governor Perry must now sign or veto the bill, or simply allow the legislation to become law by taking no action. TRTA delivered a letter to the Governor asking him to sign SB 1458 into law.
TRTA members have worked tirelessly this session to protect the TRS fund for all active and retired school employees. Your efforts are unprecedented! More than 110,000 emails were sent by TRTA members supporting this legislation (and that’s just counting those sent from our TRTA legislative email system). Many of you have been calling day and night encouraging legislators to do the right thing. You have educated them on how the defined benefit plan works and that it must be protected.
TRTA is also proud to have partnered with our friends in the active educator community. We have accomplished a lot together, and the TRS fund is stronger because of our steadfast cooperation.
While SB 1458 makes the TRS fund actuarially sound and provides a much needed increase for over 195,000 TRS retirees, the bill does not help everyone.
TRTA knows that the needs of those who retired in 2005 or after are also pressing. While the fund was not able to expand the COLA to those who retired in 2005 or after, we will pursue financial relief for all TRS retirees at every possible opportunity.
Without adoption of this legislation, the pressure to make even more drastic changes to the TRS fund would have increased. Now, the state has a plan to ensure the fund’s long-term future and help retirees in need with a pension increase.
Our work is far from over! TRTA’s membership has grown both in numbers and influence. We have big tasks ahead. A major health care funding crisis is looming next session. Even after the bold, substantive changes in SB 1458, the interest groups that dislike public pension funds will resume their attacks.
For now, though, TRTA members need to know we have won a MAJOR victory this session. We have won a victory for all TRS retirees!
Congratulations TRTA members! Your hard work and dedication have won the day. We are proud of you. Your TRS fund is better because of you. Together, we have made a difference and together we will continue to make a difference.
TRTA will continue to track the progress of SB 1458 as it goes to the Governor and we will continue to provide updates as they happen.
If you are not a member of TRTA and want to join our grassroots advocacy efforts, please contact our office at 1.800.880.1650. TRTA will print a complete legislative wrap-up in the next issue of our membership news bulletin, The VOICE. You will not want to miss this special issue!