Tomorrow is our Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Day at the Capitol event! We are expecting nearly 1000 retired teachers and school personnel to arrive in Austin early tomorrow morning by buses and carloads! We are glad that so many of our members are able to share in the excitement of TRTA’s grassroots lobbying efforts.

Many of you want to participate but were unable to come to Austin today.  We still want and need your help. Your voice can be heard today!

We need as many TRTA members as possible to contact their legislators first thing Wednesday morning! You can do this by telephone or email, or both!

The message we want to share is:

“Today, Wednesday, March 20, 2013 is the Texas Retired Teachers Association Day at the Capitol event! Public education retirees need your help! Please support HB 1383 to raise the state contribution to TRS! Please support HB 103 and SB 643 to provide immediate financial relief to retirees! Thank you for your service.  Please visit our tent on the East Lawn for free Amy’s Ice Cream at 12:30 p.m. so that we may show you our gratitude for your support!”

Feel free to use these key points when talking to your legislators:

Texas House of Representatives

  • Have you signed on to co-sponsor HB 1383 (TRS funding bill)?
  • Have you signed on to co-sponsor HB 103 (TRS supplemental payment option)?
  • Will you be able to do this today or later this week?
  • Do you have questions or concerns about HB 1383 that we can answer for you?
    • The bill does not ensure the TRS fund’s actuarial soundness, but it does but us on a path to this goal;
    • It does not authorize a pension increase, but getting retirees a raise is clearly our goal. We cannot expect this to happen without a stronger commitment to adequate funding;
    • It does normalize a higher funding rate for TRS and this will make the overall TRS fund more fiscally stable;
    • Choosing to not support higher funding because it does not make the fund actuarially sound is tantamount to giving up on making the system solvent. Pension fund investment earnings are paramount, but contributions plays a significant role in the fund’s fiscal health;
    • What other specific plan do you have that will improve TRS?
    • Please let TRTA know if we need to follow-up with your Representative and answer additional questions.

Texas Senators

  • What is the Senate’s plan for getting TRS actuarially sound?
  • How can we help push real solutions for an actuarially sound retirement fund?
  • What plan do you have to help get us to actuarial soundness?
  • Are you a co-sponsor for SB 643 (TRS supplemental payment option)? Will you consider signing on to this bill?

Use the TRTA Legislator Hotline to call your Senators and Representatives: 1.888.674.3788.

Click here to send an email to your legislators (http://www.votervoice.net/groups/trta/advocacy/?issueid=31354)!

Please click here (www.trtaportal.org/PDFS/FactSheet2013DAC.pdf) if you want to download the TRTA Day at the Capitol Fact Page.

In addition to the Fact Page, TRTA has created a new flyer entitled “This is Our Story.” On the reverse side of the flyer, our members may include details about their own education careers and lives, and send the flyer to their legislators.  This flyer is a great way to put a face to the issues affecting hundreds of thousands of TRS annuitants.  The flyer can be found on our website here: www.trtaportal.org/PDFS/ThisismyStory.pdf.

A recap of the TRTA Day at the Capitol will be posted to the Inside Line tomorrow. Our members can also download a press release from the TRTA website and edit it to include local details.  We encourage all Day at the Capitol attendees to send the release to their local news outlets.  The press release may be downloaded at the following link: www.trtaportal.org/PDFS/Press%20release%20for%20local%20units%202013.doc.

Thank you again to everyone participating in the TRTA Day at the Capitol. We appreciate you coming to Austin, or participating through the email advocacy campaign or phone calls!! We need everyone to participate, even if you cannot be in Austin, your emails and phone calls will absolutely be heard and felt during the event. Your membership is what makes TRTA the successful organization that it is!