As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) may know, Texas public education retirees have been at the forefront of concern in both statewide and national news regarding the Legislature’s special session agenda.
Governor Greg Abbott added a supplemental payment for Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) retirees to the session agenda, which began on July 8. Special sessions may last up to 30 days but can end whenever the business items on the Governor’s agenda have been met.
As our members may recall, two bills, one in the Senate (SB 7) and one in the House (HB 85), were filed to provide such a payment. The bills were filed by Senator Joan Huffman (R – Houston) and Representative Glenn Rogers (R – Mineral Wells), respectively.
On Tuesday, July 13, the Texas Senate unanimously passed SB 7. The bill would provide for a one-time supplemental payment for Texas public education retirees who retired on or before December 31, 2020, not to exceed $2,400. The funds would be provided by general revenue, not the TRS pension fund. HB 85 was voted favorably out of the Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services (PIFS) Committee in the House on July 9.
SB 7 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration, where it remains pending as the House does not have a quorum present to conduct business.
TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee was invited to appear on CNN to discuss the matter. You can view the video of Tim’s interview by clicking here.
Other news articles have been circulating that our members may be interested in reading:
Our members should know that the TRTA Capitol advocacy team continues to push for a benefit enhancement for TRS retirees and is still focused on our long-term goal of achieving a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). The special session is expected to proceed through early August. TRTA will update members as we learn more about the progress of bills.
Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Update
Many of our members contact us regularly about the important work TRTA is leading on the GPO and WEP. The WEP and GPO are TRTA’s highest federal legislative priorities. TRTA is working on the issue with an increased sense of urgency knowing that our good friend and long-time champion, Congressman Kevin Brady (R – The Woodlands), is retiring at the end of his current term in office.
Our work in Washington, D.C. and with our national partners is moving quickly. We expect more updates later this summer.
Please stay tuned to the Inside Line for news, as well as information about bills that are filed and urgent Action Alerts that will be needed on our vital issues!