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:
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.