Blog

21 Jul
0

Senate Finance to Meet, Lieutenant Governor Shares Message

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 22, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee will meet to discuss Senate Bill 19. The bill was filed for the first called special session of the 85th Legislature by Senator Jane Nelson (R – Flower Mound) and co-authored by Senator Joan Huffman (R – Houston).

SB 19 relates to bonuses and salaries for public school classroom teachers and state assistance for the Texas Public School Employees Group Insurance Program, including TRS-Care. To read the full text of the bill, please click here.

Lieutenant Governor on TRS-Care: The Senate is committed to increased TRS-Care funding as a top priority (video statement)

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick addresses the TRS-Care issue directly in a recent video. TRTA has linked that video below.

In the video, Lieutenant Governor Patrick provides insight to the Senate’s plan on how to help address the TRS-Care issue. The plan includes as much as $212 million in additional funding that will be used to lower deductibles for the pre-65 TRS retiree from $3,000 to $1,500. The plan will also help reduce premiums for TRS retirees over age 65, as well as provide assistance to TRS retirees who may have children with disabilities.

Lieutenant Governor Patrick also comments that this Senate plan will make this additional funding permanent in the next legislative session. If this additional funding does become part of the ongoing budget strategy for TRS-Care, it will have a very positive long-term impact for this vital program.

TRTA will continue to provide as much information as possible for our members as this situation develops.

We are working diligently to negotiate the best deal possible for all TRS-Care participants. As you will recall from this morning’s update, the Texas House will have hearings on bills filed to address TRS-Care this special session.

Ultimately, any bill that helps resolve the TRS-Care situation will have to be passed in both the Senate and the House and signed by the Governor.

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to TRTA! TRTA has more than 82,000 members, but there are more than 350,000 TRS retirees. That means hundreds of thousands of TRS retirees are not involved in the largest retiree organization advocating for their TRS benefits.

To improve funding for TRS-Care, we need as many retirees as possible to join TRTA and stand with us!

It is vital that you join TRTA today! If you already are a member, please ask your fellow retirees to join. Many retirees are still unaware of the impending TRS-Care changes! Let’s all work together to improve retirement benefits for current and future retirees.

Be sure to connect with us via FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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20 Jul
0

Governor Abbott Adds TRS-Care to the Call for Special Session

Send an email thanking your elected officials today!

Early this morning (July 20), the Texas Senate finalized its initial business for the first called session of the 85th Legislature by passing the needed sunset bills for several state agencies. Shortly thereafter, Governor Greg Abbott announced that among his special session priorities, improving funding for the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program has been included.

This is great news! As the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) mentioned earlier this week, several Texas legislators, including Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Representatives Trent Ashby, Lance Gooden, and Drew Darby, are proposing multiple options for improving TRS-Care funding.

While all options are promising, however, TRS-Care had to be placed on the call for special session by the Governor to receive traction and for retirees to receive much-needed help.

Your emails and phone calls to the Governor’s office worked! Governor Abbott has now instructed the Texas Senate and House to begin work on improving funding for TRS-Care.

Your concerns about increased deductibles and premiums, higher spousal costs, and prescription coverage are being heard at all levels of the state government!

TRTA is grateful to our dedicated, vigilant members for keeping up the momentum and maintaining a positive, never-quit attitude!

Our work is not yet done, however! We need as many retirees as possible to join us as we work together with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, and all Senate and House members to ensure the best possible outcome for TRS-Care.

Please send an email thanking our state leaders for making TRS-Care funding a priority during special session and encouraging them to work with TRTA throughout the session to find the best possible solution! Click here now.

TRTA members know that the overall condition of healthcare in this country is not good. We all hear and read the stories about this issue and know that the country is locked in a desperate struggle to fund healthcare and control costs. Everyone in the nation is struggling with the rising cost of healthcare. TRTA worked with elected officials in the regular session to keep TRS-Care alive. In a life or death struggle for TRS-Care, we chose to live and fight another day.

That day is now! The Legislature has an opportunity to make TRS-Care better. We cannot promise that the program will be restored to what it was; but, we can promise that TRTA will take every opportunity to improve the funding, lower your out-of-pocket costs, and protect the long-term solvency of this vital program.

Please join in these efforts by clicking here to send an email to Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick and your Senator and Representative. When we work together, we are more likely to improve this situation.

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to TRTA! TRTA has more than 82,000 members, but there are more than 350,000 TRS retirees. That means hundreds of thousands of TRS retirees are not involved in the largest retiree organization advocating for their TRS benefits.

To improve funding for TRS-Care, we need as many retirees as possible to join TRTA and stand with us!

It is vital that you join TRTA today! If you already are a member, please ask your fellow retirees to join. Many retirees are still unaware of the impending TRS-Care changes! Let’s all work together to improve retirement benefits for current and future retirees.

Be sure to connect with us via FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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18 Jul
0

Rep. Gooden Hosting Facebook Live Event Today, July 18, At 3 P.M.

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) is hosting a Facebook Live event today (July 18) at 3:00 p.m. to discuss his proposal (HB 151) to inject $1 billion into the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Executive Director Tim Lee will join Gooden.

The event will be on Gooden’s Facebook page. To receive a reminder from Facebook when the event goes live, you can ‘follow’ Gooden’s page.

Gooden sent Gov. Greg Abbott a letter about TRS-Care’s importance last week, which you can read here.

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to TRTA. If you are not yet a member of TRTA, please join today.

Be sure to connect with us via FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

Read More