21 Mar

TRTA Day at the Capitol a Huge Success!

Pictured Above: Retired teachers descend on Austin for our Day at the Capitol event. Middle: TRTA State President Maridell Fryar received the Speaker’s gavel yesterday. Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus gave Maridell his gavel as a sign of appreciation and respect for the work done by TRTA volunteers.

Over 1,000 TRTA members came together at the Texas Capitol in Austin yesterday, March 20, for our Day at the Capitol event! Members arrived by bus and car, wearing bright red shirts and carrying red bags. Retirees came from as far away as Connecticut and Colorado, and every area of Texas was represented!

Many members visited legislators or their staff members, sharing information about the important bills that TRTA continues to push this legislative session.  Our Day at the Capitol flyer, click here (, provides details on each bill, and encourages elected officials to co-sponsor them. We encourage all TRTA members who are able to download the flyer, print it and send it to their legislators!

HB 1383, the bill authored by Representative Jim Keffer that would raise the state contribution to TRS, continues to gain traction in the House. TRTA members made a great push yesterday to encourage their Representatives to sign on to the bill if they had not already done so.

As of this morning, the following Representatives have shown their support for HB 1383 (all phone numbers provided below use a 512 area code):

Jim Keffer 463-0656 Author
Roberto Alonzo 463-0408 Joint Author
Donna Howard 463-0631 Joint Author
Susan King 463-0718 Joint Author
Bennett Ratliff 463-0468 Joint Author
Alma Allen 463-0744 Co-Author
Charles “Doc” Anderson 463-0135 Co-Author
Trent Ashby 463-0508 Co-Author
Dwayne Bohac 463-0727 Co-Author
Dennis Bonnen 463-0564 Co-Author
Greg Bonnen 463-0729 Co-Author
Lon Burnam 463-0740 Co-Author
Angie Chen Button 463-0486 Co-Author
Travis Clardy 463-0592 Co-Author
Tony Dale 463-0696 Co-Author
Drew Darby 463-0331 Co-Author
John Davis 463-0734 Co-Author
Sarah Davis 463-0389 Co-Author
Marsha Farney 463-0309 Co-Author
Dan Flynn 463-0880 Co-Author
John Frullo 463-0676 Co-Author
Charlie Geren 463-0610 Co-Author
Larry Gonzales 463-0670 Co-Author
Lance Gooden 463-0458 Co-Author
Bobby Guerra 463-0578 Co-Author
Linda Harper-Brown 463-0641 Co-Author
Abel Herrero 463-0462 Co-Author
Dan Huberty 463-0520 Co-Author
Jason Isaac 463-0647 Co-Author
Kyle Kacal 463-0412 Co-Author
Ken King 463-0736 Co-Author
Phil King 463-0738 Co-Author
John Kuempel 463-0602 Co-Author
Lyle Larson 463-0646 Co-Author
George Lavender 463-0692 Co-Author
Tryon Lewis 463-0546 Co-Author
J.M. Lozano 463-0463 Co-Author
Eddie Lucio III 463-0606 Co-Author
Marisa Marquez 463-0638 Co-Author
Armando Martinez 463-0530 Co-Author
Ruth McClendon 463-0708 Co-Author
Jose Menendez 463-0634 Co-Author
Borris Miles 463-0518 Co-Author
Doug Miller 463-0325 Co-Author
Joe Moody 463-0728 Co-Author
Sergio Muñoz, Jr. 463-0704 Co-Author
Elliott Naishtat 463-0668 Co-Author
Rene Oliveira 463-0640 Co-Author
John Otto 463-0570 Co-Author
Chris Paddie 463-0556 Co-Author
Diane Patrick 463-0624 Co-Author
Larry Phillips 463-0297 Co-Author
Joe Pickett 463-0596 Co-Author
Allan Ritter 463-0706 Co-Author
Kenneth Sheets 463-0244 Co-Author
JD Sheffield 463-0628 Co-Author
Ralph Sheffield 463-0630 Co-Author
David Simpson 463-0750 Co-Author
Wayne Smith 463-0733 Co-Author
Jonathan Stickland 463-0522 Co-Author
Ed Thompson 463-0707 Co-Author
Chris Turner 463-0574 Co-Author
Jason Villalba 463-0576 Co-Author
Hubert Vo 463-0568 Co-Author
James White 463-0490 Co-Author
Gene Wu 463-0492 Co-Author

Please join us in thanking these members for supporting public education retirees!  The office phone numbers for each Representative are provided for you (the area code for each number is 512).  If you see your Representative listed above, please CALL HIM OR HER TODAY to say “thank you for signing on to HB 1383 and supporting retired teachers!

TRTA continues to work to have EVERY member of the House of Representatives support this vital bill.  Below is a list of the Representatives who have not yet sponsored the bill.  If you see your legislator listed below, please CALL HIM OR HER TODAY and ask him or her to “please support HB 1383 by signing on as a co-sponsor!” Many times, a legislator does want to support the issue, but needs a kind reminder to help them remember to sign on the bill. If, though, you speak to a legislator that is not sure if they want to sign on the bill, please contact our office and we will follow-up, as well.

(All phone numbers provided below use a 512 area code. If you are not certain who your Representative is, please call our Legislator Hotline at 1.888.674.3788)


Carol Alvarado 463-0732
Rafael Anchia 463-0746
Jimmie Don Aycock 463-0684
Cecil Bell, Jr. 463-0650
Dan Branch 463-0367
Cindy Burkett 463-0464
Bill Callegari 463-0528
Terry Canales 463-0426
Giovanni Capriglione 463-0690
Stefani Carter 463-0454
Garnet Coleman 463-0524
Nicole Collier 463-0716
Byron Cook 463-0730
Philip Cortez 463-0269
Tom Craddick 463-0500
Brandon Creighton 463-0726
Myra Crownover 463-0582
Yvonne Davis 463-0598
Joe Deshotel 463-0662
Dawna Dukes 463-0506
Harold Dutton 463-0510
Craig Eiland 463-0502
Gary Elkins 463-0722
Patrick Fallon 463-0694
Joe Farias 463-0714
Jessica Farrar 463-0620
Allen Fletcher 463-0661
James Frank 463-0534
Helen Giddings 463-0953
Craig Goldman 463-0608
Mary Edna Gonzalez 463-0613
Naomi Gonzalez 463-0622
Ryan Guillen 463-0416
Roland Gutierrez 463-0452
Patricia Harless 463-0496
Ana Hernandez Luna 463-0614
Harvey Hilderbran 463-0536
Bryan Hughes 463-0271
Todd Hunter 463-0672
Eric Johnson 463-0586
Tracy King 463-0194
Tim Kleinschmidt 463-0682
Stephanie Klick 463-0599
Lois Kolkhorst 463-0600
Matthew Krause 463-0562
Jodie Laubenberg 463-0186

Read More
20 Mar

TRTA Rally Day Update

Members Deliver Strong Message

Over 1,100 TRTA members rallied at the Texas Capitol today. Championing a strong legislative agenda, our members were both seen and heard. Thousands of phone calls and emails compliment Capitol efforts. Complete update and recap tomorrow.

Thank you everyone who made the trip and participated in email and phone advocacy efforts!

Read More
19 Mar

TRTA Day at the Capitol is Here!

Tomorrow is our Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Day at the Capitol event! We are expecting nearly 1000 retired teachers and school personnel to arrive in Austin early tomorrow morning by buses and carloads! We are glad that so many of our members are able to share in the excitement of TRTA’s grassroots lobbying efforts.

Many of you want to participate but were unable to come to Austin today.  We still want and need your help. Your voice can be heard today!

We need as many TRTA members as possible to contact their legislators first thing Wednesday morning! You can do this by telephone or email, or both!

The message we want to share is:

“Today, Wednesday, March 20, 2013 is the Texas Retired Teachers Association Day at the Capitol event! Public education retirees need your help! Please support HB 1383 to raise the state contribution to TRS! Please support HB 103 and SB 643 to provide immediate financial relief to retirees! Thank you for your service.  Please visit our tent on the East Lawn for free Amy’s Ice Cream at 12:30 p.m. so that we may show you our gratitude for your support!”

Feel free to use these key points when talking to your legislators:

Texas House of Representatives

  • Have you signed on to co-sponsor HB 1383 (TRS funding bill)?
  • Have you signed on to co-sponsor HB 103 (TRS supplemental payment option)?
  • Will you be able to do this today or later this week?
  • Do you have questions or concerns about HB 1383 that we can answer for you?
    • The bill does not ensure the TRS fund’s actuarial soundness, but it does but us on a path to this goal;
    • It does not authorize a pension increase, but getting retirees a raise is clearly our goal. We cannot expect this to happen without a stronger commitment to adequate funding;
    • It does normalize a higher funding rate for TRS and this will make the overall TRS fund more fiscally stable;
    • Choosing to not support higher funding because it does not make the fund actuarially sound is tantamount to giving up on making the system solvent. Pension fund investment earnings are paramount, but contributions plays a significant role in the fund’s fiscal health;
    • What other specific plan do you have that will improve TRS?
    • Please let TRTA know if we need to follow-up with your Representative and answer additional questions.

Texas Senators

  • What is the Senate’s plan for getting TRS actuarially sound?
  • How can we help push real solutions for an actuarially sound retirement fund?
  • What plan do you have to help get us to actuarial soundness?
  • Are you a co-sponsor for SB 643 (TRS supplemental payment option)? Will you consider signing on to this bill?

Use the TRTA Legislator Hotline to call your Senators and Representatives: 1.888.674.3788.

Click here to send an email to your legislators (!

Please click here ( if you want to download the TRTA Day at the Capitol Fact Page.

In addition to the Fact Page, TRTA has created a new flyer entitled “This is Our Story.” On the reverse side of the flyer, our members may include details about their own education careers and lives, and send the flyer to their legislators.  This flyer is a great way to put a face to the issues affecting hundreds of thousands of TRS annuitants.  The flyer can be found on our website here:

A recap of the TRTA Day at the Capitol will be posted to the Inside Line tomorrow. Our members can also download a press release from the TRTA website and edit it to include local details.  We encourage all Day at the Capitol attendees to send the release to their local news outlets.  The press release may be downloaded at the following link:

Thank you again to everyone participating in the TRTA Day at the Capitol. We appreciate you coming to Austin, or participating through the email advocacy campaign or phone calls!! We need everyone to participate, even if you cannot be in Austin, your emails and phone calls will absolutely be heard and felt during the event. Your membership is what makes TRTA the successful organization that it is!

Read More