The Texas House of Representatives is set to take the most important vote of the legislative session regarding TRS-Care!
On Thursday, April 6, 2017, the Texas House is scheduled to debate and vote on Senate Bill 1, the appropriations bill for the 85th Legislative Session. This bill will set the state budget and expenditures for the 2018-19 biennium. More than 400 amendments have been filed to the budget, and we can expect a long and arduous debate!
This budget vote is significant for several reasons:
- The house budget contains at least $500 million in state appropriations for TRS-Care, which is almost $200 million more than the amount approved by the Senate;
- These additional dollars may be used to lower the proposed $4,000 deductible for TRS-Care participants under the age of 65 and/or to extend the life of TRS-Care;
- TRS-Care’s funding is contingent upon a two-thirds vote from the House as opposed to a majority vote (100 votes are needed instead of 76);
- This is because the money must be appropriated from the Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund), and the vote is considered politically risky for some legislators.
- Your representative’s vote will be CRITICAL in passing this funding bill.
Take Action Today!
Now is the time for our statewide team of dedicated education retirees to send a positive message to our partners in the Texas House, letting them know that we support their vote to use the Rainy Day Fund to “Keep TRS-Care Affordable!”
Over the next two days, TRTA is asking that you do the following:
- Email your state representative today by clicking here.
- CALL your state representative today (April 5) and tomorrow (April 6), and use the talking points below to help you. Be sure to use our toll-free legislative hotline 1-888-674-3788.
- Forward this email to your friends and colleagues, and share it via social media to help us spread the word that now is the time to take action to “Keep TRS-Care Affordable!”
Sample Phone Script
Use the message below to guide you when communicating with your State Representative.
“Hello, my name is _______. I am a retired Texas educator, a member of TRTA, and I live in your district.
Thank you for being a public servant in our state and our community. As a fellow public servant who relies on my monthly TRS annuity to pay my bills, I support your vote to use the Rainy Day Fund to help retired educators keep our health care program affordable.
We hope you will help us by using any funding for TRS-Care to reduce the proposed $4,000 deductible for retirees under the age of 65 and to extend the program’s life for the future.
Retirees are willing to do our part to pay for TRS-Care! We appreciate your vote to use the Rainy Day Fund to keep TRS-Care affordable for the 260,000 retirees who rely on the plan to keep us and our families healthy.”
It is critical that all members of TRTA lift their unified voice to maximize support for additional funding for TRS-Care! Help us spread the word that now is the time to take action!
Thank you for your steadfast dedication to retirees all across Texas and your membership to TRTA!
We are fighting ardently for your benefits every day at the Capitol. If you are not yet a TRTA member, please join here. Be sure to read our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions about TRS-Care here.