The Texas House of Representatives passed its budget this morning. The budget includes the statutory contribution to TRS-Care as well as $500 million coming out of the Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund. The statutory state contribution for TRS-Care is 1 percent of active educator payroll.
Representatives debated the bill early into the morning, as it received more than 400 amendments on various issues that did not regard TRS-Care. The bill passed by a vote of 132-16.
The fight for health care funding is not over! The House’s commitment to retired teachers is to increase state-based funding for TRS-Care and add the $500 million, which passed this morning. A conference committee will negotiate will the final budget before it can be voted on by both chambers.
TRTA would like to thank its members for all the emails and phone calls sent to House members. This vote was critical in keeping TRS-Care affordable. TRTA would like to see the Legislature use this funding to reduce the impact of SB 788, which would create a $4,000 deductible plan for under-65 retirees, and would move all Medicare eligible retirees into Medicare Advantage. SB 788’s proposed changes simply are not affordable for many of our members.
TRTA has heard our members loud and clear. Working together, we will continue to send a strong, unified message to our elected leaders.
No changes were made to the TRS pension fund. House members voted to maintain the state’s contribution of 6.8 percent of active educator payroll to the TRS pension fund. This amount is required by the statute passed in 2013, SB 1458, and it ensures the actuarially soundness target for the TRS fund.
Stay tuned to the Inside Line, as SB 788 will go up for a vote as early as next week.
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.