Blog

26 Aug
0

Simple Steps to Protect Your Health Care and Pension Plans

The 84th Legislative Session is still a few months away, but that doesn’t mean that members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are sitting still. In fact, our members are ready to start protecting their benefits and getting the word out that their health care and pension should be top priorities in 2015!

This fall, join your fellow retirees and pre-retirees and get active now!

Here are a few things that you can do now to start protecting the TRS-Care health insurance program and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas pension fund!

Watch this online tutorial!

Attend your first fall local unit meeting!

Are you a member of one of TRTA’s 259 local units? Be sure to attend your fall meetings! Legislative Chairmen across the state are preparing for the upcoming legislative session and are looking for volunteers who want to get involved. Join a contact team, and be your local unit’s go-to person when your legislator needs the facts from a trusted source.

If you are not a member of a local unit, consider joining one! There is a TRTA local unit near you! Visit our website and hover over the tab TRTA Near You to learn more.

Local units provide members with a front row seat to the action. Legislators and candidates for political office often attend local unit meetings. Speakers, such as TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee, come to meetings to provide members with updated information about TRS-Care and pension issues. Not only can you experience fellowship, but also you can get involved with any of a variety of committees, from legislative to public relations to health care.

Vote in the November election!

The biggest impact you can make in your future is through the power of the ballot. Elections for many senators and representatives are occurring in November. Mark your calendar now and be sure to get out and vote!

You can also make a plan to vote early. Consider organizing a group of your fellow retirees, TRTA members, family and friends and caravan to the polling location together. If you vote early, you can vote at any location within your precinct!

Early voting for the November elections begins October 20 and continues through October 31. Begin studying the candidates that are running for office in your district now. Election day is November 4.

As a special note, if you live in Texas Senate District 28 (represented by Senator Robert Duncan), be sure to vote in the special election on September 9! Read more about this special election, including early voting dates (happening now) in last week’s Inside Line!

November Election Schedule 

Last Day to Register to Vote Monday, October 6, 2014
First Day of Early Voting Monday, October 20, 2014
Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)
Friday, October 24, 2014
Last Day of Early Voting Friday, October 31, 2014
Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, November 4, 2014 (election day) at 7:00 p.m. (unless overseas deadline applies)

Thank You!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! Remember, you are a valued member of our organization, and your vote is valuable! Use your power and vote!

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!

Watch a recap of the recent TRTA State Legislative Committee meeting by viewing this video! Feel free to share the video with your fellow retirees and with active educators, who will be impacted by any changes made the program upon their retirement.

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22 Aug
0

Early Voting Starts Monday for Senate District 28 Special Election

Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) who live in Senate District 28 have the opportunity to vote in a special election to replace Senator Robert Duncan beginning Monday, August 25. Early voting will continue through Friday, September 5. Please note that there will be no early voting on Monday, September 1 due to the Labor Day holiday. The official election day will be held on Tuesday, September 9.

Many TRTA members are quite familiar with Senator Duncan and his work to improve and protect retirement benefits for Texas public educators. Last session, Senator Duncan authored Senate Bill 1458, which provided the first permanent cost-of-living increase for 200,000 retirees since 2001.

Several candidates are vying to fill Duncan’s seat. They are: Jodey Arrington, Republican; E.M. Garza, Republican; Delwin Jones, Republican; Kerry Douglas McKennon, Libertarian; Charles Perry, Republican; and Greg Wortham, Democrat.

Many of our members have requested that we provide contact information for the Senate District 28 candidates. If you live in SD 28, please consider contacting the candidates and asking them questions about their support of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) defined benefit plan and the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

Ask if they will support maintaining the provisions laid out in Senate Bill 1458 that increased the state’s contribution to the TRS pension fund to 6.8%. Ask if they support providing additional funds to help resolve the TRS-Care funding shortfall of nearly $1 billion. Ask if they support a secure retirement for our state’s 300,000+ retirees and 1,000,000 pre-retirees!

If a candidate asks you for more information, feel free to provide them with the TRS-Care Fact Sheet found in the most recent issue of The VOICE or have them contact TRTA at info@trta.orgor 1.800.880.1650.

Candidate Contact Information (candidates are listed in alphabetical order):

Jodey Arrington
4407 13th Street
Lubbock, Texas 79416
806.319.0909

E. M. Garza
303 North 7th Street
Wolfforth, Texas 79382
806.729.6719

Delwin Jones
2129 54th Street
Lubbock, Texas 79412
806.789.6899

Kerry Douglas McKennon
2101 Avenue D
Petersburg, Texas 79250
806.667.0586

Charles Perry
4007 109th Street
Lubbock, Texas 79432
806.470.1341

Greg Wortham
311 E. Avenue C
Sweetwater, Texas 79556
325.235.2190

Members, we cannot stress enough how important it is that you vote in this election if you live in Senate District 28. Make a plan now to vote early! Consider carpooling with your fellow retirees or friends and family members. During the early voting period, you can vote at any polling location. On the official day of the election, you must vote at your assigned precinct.

Thank You!

TRTA has been busy this summer conducting state committee meetings and planning ahead for the 84th Legislative Session. Last week, the State Legislative Committee met in Austin to discuss strategy for protecting the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program, among other issues.

Watch a recap of the meeting by viewing this video! Feel free to share the video with your fellow retirees and with active educators, who will be impacted by any changes made the program upon their retirement.

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! Remember, you are a valued member of our organization, and your vote is valuable! Use your power and vote!

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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12 Aug
0

Election News: Senate Districts 4 and 28!

Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) who reside in Texas Senate District 4 voted last week during a special runoff election.

A special election for Texas Senate District 4 was held on Saturday, May 10 to fill the seat being vacated by Senator Tommy Williams. Senator Williams served a vital role in the Senate, most recently as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. This special election was held because Senator Williams will vacate his seat before his term expires in 2016.

Four candidates vied for the position, but none received the necessary number of votes to win the election outright. A runoff election between candidates Brandon Creighton and Steve Toth took place last Tuesday, August 5. Creighton won the runoff election, receiving 67.4% of the vote. To read more about the voter turnout and Representative Creighton’s victory, please read this Texas Tribune article.

Special Election Set for Texas Senate District 28

Governor Perry has scheduled a special election for the vacant District 28 State Senateseat for September 9, 2014. Senator Robert Duncan stepped down from this role after accepting the position of Chancellor at Texas Tech University.

Many of our members are familiar with Senator Duncan, who worked closely with TRTA to formulate legislation to benefit Texas public education retirees throughout his tenure. Senator Duncan most recently co-authored Senate Bill 1458, passed in 2013 during the 83rd Legislative Session. SB 1458 provided the first permanent cost-of-living increase for TRS retirees since 2001 and made the pension fund actuarially sound.

Senator Duncan’s service to Texas continues to provide value for both current and future retirees.

If you live in Texas Senate District 28, be sure to get out and VOTE on September 9! Add the date to your calendar now! Because this is a special election, voter turnout is expected to be very low. YOUR VOTE MATTERS!

Currently, Texas House District 83 Representative Charles Perry, former Texas Tech Vice Chancellor Jodey Arrington and Sweetwater Mayor Greg Wortham are vying to fill the seat. Read more about the candidates here. Start talking to your fellow retirees now about the candidates and make a plan to visit your polling location on September 9.

Thank You!

TRTA continues to be busy this summer, conducting state committee meetings and planning ahead for the 84th Legislative Session. This week, the State Legislative Committee meets in Austin August 13 and 14. Committee members will discuss how best to communicate the impending shortfall to the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program with candidates and legislators, among other issues.

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! Remember, you are a valued member of our organization, and your vote is valuable! Use your power and vote! 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!

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