The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) has heard from many members after publishing an Inside Line on Saturday, March 11 about two bills that were filed late last week: Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 600.
TRTA first wishes to express its gratitude to both the Texas Senate and House for laying out proposals that would provide financial help for Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) retirees this session.
TRTA also wants to remind our members that discussions between Senate and House leaders will continue as these bills move through the legislative process. There is still much work to be done, and still another two and a half months left in the legislative session! TRTA is grateful to have a seat at the table as this important legislation is considered.
Specifically on SB 10 and HB 600, please know that many TRTA members are sending in their comments and questions. Our plan is to work to address many of these comments during Executive Director Tim Lee’s live Facebook and YouTube event Thursday, March 16, at 4:00 p.m.
We ask our members to focus on the 10 key tips for legislative session. We are at the phase in the legislative process where we must be strong. As we said then, the 88th Legislative Session will be a long, tough session. Things will change often, and legislation can be very fluid. Some days it seems all is going very well and other days it may seem like it is all falling apart. That is the nature of session and it is why we encourage our members to stay strong and stay up-to-date.
Our goals as an organization are to continue moving forward, stay positive, advocate for our members and their well-being, stay on message, and show up EVERY SINGLE DAY.
We are making significant progress, and we have the support of both the Texas Senate and House. That support is the most important facet of our grassroots lobbying efforts: we are building relationships and our collective voice is being heard.
The dramatic loss of buying power TRS retirees are facing did not occur overnight. TRTA sees the steps being taken this session as the first in a series of steps that are needed to help TRS retirees regain their financial footing.
Upcoming Legislative Hearings to Watch
Members may be interested in watching several legislative hearings this week in the Texas House. Below are the dates and times of those meetings. The meetings will be available to view live online from this website once they have been called to order.
Wednesday, March 15
8:00 a.m. Appropriations Article III Formal Meeting
There will be no state agency or public testimony taken during this meeting to discuss House budget recommendations and riders for Article III, which includes funding for TRS.
8:30 a.m. Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services
The committee will hear numerous bills, including HCR 20, a resolution urging Congress to repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision of the Social Security Act. TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee plans to testify.
Thursday, March 16
8:00 a.m. Appropriations
While there will be invited testimony only, the committee will hear budget recommendations for all articles, including Article III which includes TRS, and budget riders.
Tim Lee Live on Facebook and YouTube Thursday, March 16
Lee will discuss the bills that have been filed in detail, explaining the differences between the two proposals and a comprehensive analysis of them.
Thank you for 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.