The Texas Retired Teachers Association’s (TRTA) preparation for the coming 87th Legislative Session is underway, and our members are doing their part to be ready for the challenge ahead.
Last session, TRTA members accomplished major goals on our legislative agenda. We worked with the Legislature to pass a funding plan, Senate Bill 12, that invests more state resources in the TRS pension trust fund to ensure its solvency and long-term sustainability. The Legislature also passed a measure that normalized funding with all school Texas districts on various contributions to the TRS trust fund.
The Legislature passed a measure to improve various rules with TRS relating to appeals by members. We also worked with the Legislature to ensure that the TRS-Care health insurance program would receive additional funding to keep the plan solvent. Perhaps most significantly to our members and fellow retirees, the Legislature passed a supplemental payment for nearly all TRS retirees!
Much has changed since last session, and those changes will have deep ramifications on the upcoming legislative session.
TRTA’s mission is to protect and improve your retirement security. The coming session poses many challenges; but we are ready to defend what we won in 2019 and prepared to push on the issues that mean so much to our members and impact their ability to manage their financial needs in retirement.
TRTA has released its 2021 Legislative Priorities. In just a few weeks, our members will receive a TRTA Legislative Session Special Edition of our TRTA quarterly bulletin, The VOICE. In it, you will find the resources necessary to help protect your retirement security as we head into the legislative session.
If you have not renewed your TRTA membership, now is the time to reconnect with TRTA! This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and you will not want to miss out on your special edition news bulletin! Renew online today! If you aren’t a member of TRTA yet, join today!
Early Bill Receiving TRTA Attention
An early bill filing of note for TRTA members is HB 430. In its current form, the bill, authored by State Representative Ken King (R – Canadian), would eliminate the state-run retired educator health insurance program, TRS-Care.
In a letter to school personnel (both active and retired), Rep. King wrote that the current TRS-Care model is subject to “the mood of the Legislature every two years” and leads to “huge increases in premiums.”
TRTA and our members have questions and concerns about the bill. Rep. King has been a strong supporter of public education and has a good working relationship with TRTA, as well as his districts’ school employee retirees. He has also reached out to TRTA for our thoughts and assures us that he wants to help retired teachers.
From our early TRTA assessment of the bill, we can’t support the way it addresses TRS healthcare benefits for retirees; but we believe Rep. King is open to working with TRTA to find solutions for both the TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare programs.
TRTA believes that any solution for TRS-Care:
1) Provides public education retirees with quality healthcare benefits.
2) Is widely accepted by Texas medical providers.
3) Is cost efficient for all program payors.
4) Is accessible for retirees with manageable premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
We also believe that long-term funding solutions should be tied to the actual cost of healthcare and not arbitrarily tied to active teacher payroll.
This is just one of the many bills that TRTA anticipates will be on our radar as session nears and more elected officials continue pre-filing bills.
Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. If you’re not a member already, join us today.
Stay tuned to the Inside Line for additional information as we get closer to the legislative session. You can also download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.