Legislative Updates

Texas House Passes $212 Million in Funding for TRS-Care, Sends Bill to Governor

The Texas House and Senate came to an agreement on funding TRS-Care and have passed HB 21. HB 21 will provide $212 million towards TRS-Care, the state-run retiree health insurance program.

The funding will help retirees who are both pre-65 and over-65. Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign this bill into law.

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Senate Adds TRS-Care Funding to House Bill 21

On Monday, August 14, the Texas Senate met to discuss and vote upon the school finance bill, House Bill 21. As the Senate discussed the bill, several amendments were offered from the floor, including one pertaining to legislation that adds funding for the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. The Texas House will also continue discussion and voting today (August 15) on Senate Bill 19.

 

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Senate Bill 19 On House Calendar for August 15

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, there is a limited amount of time left to pass legislation providing more funding for TRS-Care during the first called special session of the 85th Legislature. The special session will end this Wednesday, August 16.

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Urgent Member Alert: Call Your State Leaders NOW; Ask Them to Send a TRS-Care Bill to the Governor!

Time is running out to pass legislation during special session to approve additional funding for TRS-Care! Members, please help by getting on the phone NOW--throughout the weekend (even on Sunday) and continuing into early next week! Call your state leaders today: Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and Speaker Straus! Phone numbers are included in the text of this alert!

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Special Session Final Days! Call Your Legislator TODAY!

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, the first called special session of the 85th Legislature has proceeded at a breakneck pace since it began on July 18. Next Wednesday, August 16, special session will come to an end. Legislation to help retired educators this session is still pending.

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ACTION ALERT: Final Days of Session, Contact Your Legislators to Pass TRS-Care Funding

The Texas Legislature’s special session will soon be over, and the clock is ticking to pass bills related to TRS-Care reform. The special session will come to a close next Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 12 PM. Two bills, HB 20 and SB 19, have been passed out of their respective chambers, and each proposes a similar result: $212.7 million in funding for TRS-Care to reduce pre-65 retirees’ deductibles and premiums. However, these bills have a point of contention between the House and the Senate, their funding mechanism.

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Texas House Passes HB 20 and HB 80

The Texas House met today to discuss two bills relating to retired educators. HB 20 would provide $212.7 million in financial relief for TRS-Care. The bill would result in reduced premiums and deductibles for retirees under the age of 65. HB 20 passed with a vote of 130-10.

The bill came under significant scrutiny for its use of the Rainy Day Fund (RDF) to provide retired educators financial relief. Some legislators consider the bill to be a “false promise” to retired educators, as the Texas Senate has expressed opposition towards using the RDF. 

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HB 20, 80 Heading to the House Floor for a Vote

As the first called special session of the 85th Legislature continues, members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are watching for movement on bills impacting their retirement benefits. As TRTA reported recently, several bills already have been discussed in the Senate and the House regarding adding funding to the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

Tomorrow, August 1, House Bill 20 by Chairman Trent Ashby (R – Lufkin) is scheduled for a vote on the House floor. HB 20 would appropriate $212.7 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) to bring down premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for participants in TRS-Care. A description of the proposed changes in HB 20 can be found below.

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Senate Passes SB 19, House Appropriations Discusses TRS Bills
  • TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee appeared on Capital Tonight on the Austin Spectrum News channel on Monday evening, July 24. Watch the video here (Lee appears about 10 minutes into the video)
  • Full Senate passes Senate Bill 19, sends bill to the House
  • House Appropriations discusses various TRS Bills 
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House Appropriations Meets Tomorrow, Expanded Review of Senate Bill 19

As the first called special session of the 85th Legislature continues, members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are hearing intense discussions about bills that may impact their retirement benefits.

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