Blog

02 Apr
0

Texas House Approves Supplemental Funding for TRS-Care, Senate Budget Still Pending

Click Here to Send a Thank You Email to Your Representative!

In yesterday’s Inside Line, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) reported that the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 1, the state budget bill that included funding for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund.

TRTA also noted that on Wednesday, April 1, the House would continue budget talks and take a vote on House Bill 2, the bill that includes emergency funding for various agencies, including the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

We are pleased to report that House Bill 2 passed unanimously yesterday, and the $768 million supplemental funding to pay for the shortfall to TRS-Care is included! To read more about other items included in the emergency spending bill, please click here.

Though the Texas Senate must still take up the issue of the state budget, this positive first step is a great boon to retired Texas public educators!

Please join us in extending our gratitude to all Texas Representatives by sending an email. Click here!

Many members of TRTA have expressed concern about the TRS-Care impending shortfall. The $768 million supplemental funding ensures that TRS-Care will not become insolvent in January 2016 as previously predicted.

While there is still much work to be done to secure the health insurance program for the long-term, this first step is vital! Our legislators are taking this issue very seriously, and their willingness to address it head-on bodes well for interim discussions about how to maintain TRS-Care for all current and future retirees.

This is thanks to you! Our members have worked diligently for more than a year to contact their Senators and Representatives and let them know how important quality, affordable health care is to them. TRTA’s strength lies with its members!

With your involvement, our voice becomes stronger! Please continue communicating with your legislators throughout the end of session. We will continue to provide email action alerts as the TRS-Care funding discussion is considered in the Texas Senate.

TRTA Day at the Capitol: Join Us, Meet with Your Legislators, and More!

Next week, over 1000 Texas public education retirees are expected to attend TRTA’s Day at the Capitol event on April 8. This will be the perfect opportunity for our legislators to put faces and names to the causes that matter most to you!

While many attendees already will be in town for the 62nd Annual TRTA Convention, many others will ride on a bus or drive in on their own to attend TRTA’s rally and ice cream social and to hear resolutions in the House and Senate honoring retired teachers.

Please know that if you would like to attend TRTA Day at the Capitol, you are welcome! The more retirees at the Capitol on April 8, the better! For complete details about this event, including a schedule of activities, please click here.

If you have not done so already, please consider extending an invitation to your legislators to join us next Wednesday! Use this email action alert to send your invitation today!

If you are not able to attend TRTA Day at the Capitol, but still want to participate, please call your legislators and let them know retired educators will be in town on April 8 and want to show their appreciation! Use the Legislator Hotline to reach out to your legislators by telephone: 888.674.3788.

If you like to promote the TRTA 62nd Annual Convention and TRTA Day at the Capitol events to your local media outlets, you may download and edit the following press releases:

Download TRTA Convention Press Release Here

Download TRTA Day at the Capitol Press Release Here

Thank You!

TRTA IS THE VOICE FOR EDUCATION RETIREES, and we want to be seen and heard on April 8!

We want to thank all of you who plan to attend or help us communicate with legislators about the big day. The planning is well underway and we are looking forward to having as many members as possible here for this legislative event.

Please be sure to stay tuned into the Inside Line throughout the 84th Legislative Session, as we will be bringing you all the latest updates on our broad legislative agenda, including any bills concerning TRS-Care, the continued funding of the TRS pension trust fund, pension increases for all TRS retirees, and also congressional issues such as the WEP and GPO.

Thank you for your membership in the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). If you are not a member of TRTA and want more information about joining, please contact us at 1.800.880.1650. Follow us on Facebook! Visit our YouTube channel for regular video updates.

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01 Apr
0

Texas House Passes Budget, Will Consider Emergency Funding for TRS-Care Today

In the early morning hours of April 1, the Texas House of Representatives passed the budget, also known as House Bill 1, with a record vote of 141 to 5. The two-year budget, which must still be reconciled with the Senate’s version of the budget, is $209.8 billion.

Included in the HB 1 budget is the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension trust fund. This session, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and our members have been working diligently to ensure that the provisions put into place during the 83rd Legislative Session through Senate Bill 1458 remained in the budget for the coming biennium.

As of today, the state contribution to the pension fund of 6.8% remains intact through the House budget. This is great news for the pension fund, as it enables the fund to remain actuarially sound for the foreseeable future.

Today, the House will take up House Bill 2, a supplemental budget bill, which will include the funding promised for the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program shortfall. This emergency spending bill will supply $768 million to shore up the health care fund for retired teachers.

While all of this is great news, there is still much work to be done to protect benefits for retired educators this session! As mentioned above, the Texas Senate must still pass a budget of its own. Though this will happen soon, an exact date is not yet known.

Texas public education retirees have received overwhelming support this session from legislators on both sides of the aisle. This support is very much appreciated, but we must remain vigilant and stay in contact with our legislators to them know how grateful we are and how much their assistance is needed!

After the Senate passes its version of the budget, a conference committee consisting of both Senators and Representatives will be formed to discuss any discrepancies between the two budgets and to finalize a version both houses can agree upon.

TRTA Day at the Capitol: Join Us, Meet with Your Legislators, and More!

Next week, over 1000 Texas public education retirees are expected to attend TRTA’s Day at the Capitol event on April 8. This will be the perfect opportunity for our legislators to put faces and names to the causes that matter most to you!

While many attendees already will be in town for the 62nd Annual TRTA Convention, many others will ride on a bus or drive in on their own to attend TRTA’s rally and ice cream social and to hear resolutions in the House and Senate honoring retired teachers.

Please know that if you would like to attend TRTA Day at the Capitol, you are welcome! The more retirees at the Capitol on April 8, the better! For complete details about this event, including a schedule of activities, please click here.

If you have not done so already, please consider extending an invitation to your legislators to join us next Wednesday! Use this email action alert to send your invitation today!

If you are not able to attend TRTA Day at the Capitol, but still want to participate, please call your legislators and let them know retired educators will be in town on April 8 and want to show their appreciation! Use the Legislator Hotline to reach out to your legislators by telephone: 888.674.3788.

If you like to promote the TRTA 62nd Annual Convention and TRTA Day at the Capitol events to your local media outlets, you may download and edit the following press releases:

Download TRTA Convention Press Release Here

Download TRTA Day at the Capitol Press Release Here

Thank You!

TRTA IS THE VOICE FOR EDUCATION RETIREES, and we want to be seen and heard on April 8!

We want to thank all of you who plan to attend or help us communicate with legislators about the big day. The planning is well underway and we are looking forward to having as many members as possible here for this legislative event.

Please be sure to stay tuned into the Inside Line throughout the 84th Legislative Session, as we will be bringing you all the latest updates on our broad legislative agenda, including any bills concerning TRS-Care, the continued funding of the TRS pension trust fund, pension increases for all TRS retirees, and also congressional issues such as the WEP and GPO.

Thank you for your membership in the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). If you are not a member of TRTA and want more information about joining, please contact us at 1.800.880.1650. Follow us on Facebook! Visit our YouTube channel for regular video updates.

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30 Mar
0

TRTA Day at the Capitol Event Next Week! We Need Your Help!

Click Here to Email Your Legislators about TRTA Day at the Capitol!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) will host its biennial Day at the Capitol event on April 8, 2015 in conjunction with the 62nd Annual Convention in Austin.

We need your help reaching out to legislators! Help us extend an invitation to all legislators and their staff members to join us for our ice cream social and rally on the east lawn. We’d also like for our legislators to come out to the tent during our rally and share some encouraging words.

Use this action alert to send an email to your legislators inviting them to speak during the TRTA rally!

We also have press releases that you can edit and share with the media outlets in your area about the 62nd Annual TRTA Convention (April 6-7) and TRTA Day at the Capitol (April 8). Use the links below to download the releases. 

Download TRTA Convention Press Release Here

Download TRTA Day at the Capitol Press Release Here
 

Day at the Capitol Overview

Below please find a brief overview of what to expect on April 8. A comprehensive overview can be found by clicking here.

Schedule of Events
 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015           
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  Legislative Visits (optional)
9:30 a.m.  House Gallery (start heading to gallery at about 9:00 a.m.)
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Photo opportunities with Legislators
10:30 a.m.  Senate Gallery (start heading to gallery at about 10:00 a.m.)
11:30 a.m.  Rally on the East Lawn
12:00 p.m.  Additional Legislative Visits (optional)
12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Ice Cream Social
 
Capitol Maps
Capitol Grounds             Bus Detail
First and Ground Floor   Second, Third and Fourth Floors
Capitol Extension 1        Capitol Extension 2

Photo Opportunities
TRTA staff will be available to take photos during the day. In order to have a TRTA staff member take your photo, please send an email to
info@trta.org (Subject Line: Capitol Photo). Please include the date, time and location of your appointment as well as the number of TRTA members expected. THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2015 AT NOON.

What to Wear
We are asking all attendees to wear a red shirt to show solidarity and impress legislators with the “Sea of Red” when TRTA members fill the hallways! It is also important to wear comfortable shoes.

What to Bring
Attending the Convention? Bring your Convention bag and name badge with you! Capitol maps are included in your Convention program. Not attending Convention? A bag and materials will be provided for you as you enter the Capitol grounds on the east lawn.

Bring your business cards, identification and any pertinent medical information you may need in the event of an emergency.

Shuttles and Parking
The JW Marriott shuttle to the Capitol begins at 7:00 a.m. and runs in twenty minute intervals through 10:30 a.m. and begins returning members to the hotel at 1:30 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. (final pickup).

Parking near the Capitol? Use a state parking garage located along San Jacinto or Trinity streets (between 12th, 13th and 14th).

Entering the Capitol
Long lines may form at the Capitol’s east door. Consider utilizing alternate Capitol entrances (north, south, and west). The only wheelchair accessible ramp is located at the north entrance. All Capitol entrances require visitors to pass through metal detectors and have their bags searched. Quicker entry into the Capitol is available for persons who have a concealed handgun license.

Scheduled Activities
At 9:30 a.m., Texas public education retirees will be honored with a resolution in the House gallery on the third floor. We recommend that you try to arrive in the gallery by 9:00 a.m. to find a seat.

If the gallery is full, a short walk across the hallway to the Senate gallery will give members the opportunity to hear a similar resolution by the Texas Senate at 10:30 a.m. (arriving half an hour sooner will better enable you to find a seat).

By 11:30 a.m., members may begin gathering on the East Lawn for a rally and ice cream social.

Appointments with Legislators
To set an appointment with your legislator, call the Legislator Hotline (888.674.3788) and speak with the scheduler in your Senator’s or Representative’s office.

What about Lunch?
TRTA will not provide lunch during the Day at the Capitol event, however, the Capitol Grill (located on floor E1 inside the Capitol) offers a variety of delicious and quick food and beverage options.

Coming on Your Own?
If you are travelling alone and spending the night, a good place to stay may be the Drury Inn at I-H 35 North (St. John’s Avenue Exit). TRTA members receive 5% discount off
Drury’s corporate rates. Contact the Drury Inn for details by calling 1.800.378.7946 and providing Corporate ID #311435 or by visiting www.druryhotels.com and using BizTrip Corporate ID #311435.

Thank You!
TRTA IS THE VOICE FOR EDUCATION RETIREES, and we want to be seen and heard on April 8!

We want to thank all of you who plan to attend or help us communicate with legislators about the big day. The planning is well underway and we are looking forward to having as many members as possible here for this legislative event.

For now, we ask that you begin making phone calls and letting your legislators know we are looking forward to SEEING THEM ON APRIL 8! Call 888.674.3788 to reach out to your legislators now or send an email using the link above!

Please be sure to stay tuned into the Inside Line throughout the 84th Legislative Session, as we will be bringing you all the latest updates on our broad legislative agenda, including any bills concerning TRS-Care, the continued funding of the TRS pension trust fund, pension increases for all TRS retirees, and also congressional issues such as the WEP and GPO.

Thank you for your membership in the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). If you are not a member of TRTA and want more information about joining, please contact us at 1.800.880.1650. Follow us on Facebook! Visit our YouTube channel for regular video updates.

Read More