The bill funding TRS-Care’s budget shortfall has passed in the Texas Senate. House Bill 2 promises to add $768 million to TRS-Care during the 2016-2017 biennium. TRS-Care is the health insurance program more than 240,000 retired public educators rely upon.

The measure will now go back to the Texas House for one final vote.

TRTA members, let’s send a strong and loud message to the Texas Senate thanking them for supporting the funding needed to keep our TRS-care plan funded for the coming biennium.

This funding plan started in the Texas House with the House Appropriations Chairman, Rep. John Otto (R – Dayton), making it a major state budget priority. TRTA thanks all members of the Texas Legislature for supporting this funding.

We will keep you posted as the bill meets its final procedural deadlines.

We will have an action alert coming soon!

Additionally, we are still tracking the progress of SB 1940 and HB 2957. Each of these bills proposes to form a TRS-Care interim study. If passed, the TRS-Care interim study will create a committee to study TRS-Care’s funding issues. SB 1940 is on the docket to be considered by the Senate.

HB 2168 Passes

Pending Gubernatorial action, Teacher Retirement System of Texas annuity checks will now be issued on the last working day of each month that they are owed. The Texas Senate passed HB 2168 yesterday.

TRS retirees’ annuity payments are currently received on first working day of the following month they are owed. For instance, the July 2015 annuity payment will be received on August 3rd.

This practice allows the state of Texas to hold hundreds of millions of dollars in owed TRS annuity payments several days past the month they are owed.

While this budgeting trick may have helped the state, it does not put the hard-earned annuity dollars in the hands of retirees in the same month they are owed.

With the passage of HB 2168, retirees are one step closer to being treated like all other state retirees. Their annuity checks will be deposited on the last working day of the month they are owed. This is great news for TRS retirees as their payments will come on time and will not be delayed by weekends or holidays.

Rep. Sergio Munoz (D – Palmview) originally filed the bill on March 2nd. HB 2168 passed the House of Representatives on May 8th.

Thank You!

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 and Twitter! Visit our YouTube channel for regular video updates.