The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is focused on the upcoming TRS-Care Joint Committee Meeting. As we mentioned in a recent Inside Line, the first meeting of the joint committee is planned for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 in Room E1.028 (Hearing Room) of the Texas Capitol.

TRTA members are encouraged to attend! Progress on TRS-Care will happen in 2016 and it will happen quickly. TRTA needs your participation in every step of this process!

As our members know, the TRS-Care health insurance program will have a negative fund balance by the end of the current biennium, facing a shortfall even greater than the one experienced in 2015. That shortfall is projected to be $1.5 billion when the next legislative session begins in 2017.

During the 84th Legislative Session in 2015, TRS-Care’s shortfall of $768 million was addressed by House Bill 2’s supplemental funding. As TRS Executive Director Brian Guthrie stated during a recent TRS Board of Trustees meeting, “it is unlikely that those sources of revenue will be available again” during the 2017 session.

The select joint committee formed by the Texas Legislature will investigate this issue, meeting during the interim to discuss solutions to the TRS-Care crisis.

The legislative members named to this group are: Senators Joan Huffman (R-Houston) – Co-Chair, Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), and Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls); and Representatives Dan Flynn (R-Canton) – Co-Chair, Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), and Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio).

Important Meeting Details for Attendees

TRTA is making plans to host a gathering of members and legislators at the Capitol, during and after the TRS-Care Joint Committee hearing. More information will be released as soon as plans are finalized. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

If you are traveling to Austin to attend the hearing, please try to arrive before noon so that you do not miss this great opportunity to visit personally with the legislators who are working to resolve the TRS-Care crisis.

The actual TRS-Care hearing will be held in room E1.028 (Hearing Room), which is located in the Capitol extension on floor E1. Click here for a Capitol Building Guide to assist you in locating the main conference room and the hearing room.

If you are planning to testify, please note that public testimony will be limited to two minutes. Members who wish to provide testimony should consider preparing their comments in advance. If you are interested in providing feedback but do not wish to speak, you may submit written testimony. Please provide 20 copies to the Committee Clerk if you are providing written testimony.

TRTA is offering a $35 stipend to TRTA members who carpool together. Parking is available in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 12th and San Jacinto streets.

Thank You

The reality of systemic changes to TRS-Care must be faced head on. It is possible that your premiums may increase or your benefits may change, or both! TRS-Care is a top priority for TRTA as we head full steam towards 2017. Please continue to stay vigilant and alert!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! If you are not a member and are interested in joining, please contact our Membership Department at 1.800.880.1650.

Protecting your retirement benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all the difference! Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to stay informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.