Legislative Updates

Special Session Begins, Tim Lee Meets with Rep. Lance Gooden (ACTION ALERT INCLUDED)

The Texas Legislature kicked off its special session today, and many bills are being filed to address the Governor’s concerns. For many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), the issue of TRS-Care funding is foremost on their minds.

TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee spoke today with Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) during a Facebook Live event about his proposal to overhaul state funding for TRS-Care. Gooden’s bill (HB 151) would allocate $1 billion from the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) for the program. The funding would dramatically ease the financial pain retirees will experience as a result of changes made to the program during the regular 85th Legislative Session.

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Rep. Gooden Hosting Facebook Live Event Today, July 18, At 3 P.M.

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) is hosting a Facebook Live event today (July 18) at 3:00 p.m. to discuss his proposal (HB 151) to inject $1 billion into the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Executive Director Tim Lee will join Gooden.

The event will be on Gooden’s Facebook page. To receive a reminder from Facebook when the event goes live, you can ‘follow’ Gooden’s page.

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Texans For Public Education Hosts Successful Rally At Texas Capitol, Facebook Live Event With Rep. Gooden Scheduled For July 18 At 3 P.M.

The Texans for Public Education hosted a rally at the Texas Capitol today. The rally drew more than 2,500 educators from all across the state. The purpose of the rally was to draw legislative attention to public education issues, including TRS-Care funding, on the eve of the Legislature’s special session.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) was well represented at the rally with Tim Lee, TRTA’s Executive Director, being a headline speaker. Lee gave a rousing speech to the crowd, and implored the attendees to remember this event when the Texas election cycle begins. 

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Action Alert: Contact Governor Abbott and Ask that TRS-Care Funding Be a Priority During the Special Session!

UPDATE: TRTA has received information from the Governor's office that the call for special session is sufficient to include addressing TRS issues. We are now asking you to contact the Governor's office and ask that TRS-Care funding be made a priority during the special session!

This has been a busy week for public education retirees in Texas. With multiple proposals on the table, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) retirees are grateful to know so many state leaders and legislators are looking for ways to improve funding for the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know that House Bill 3976 may have saved the TRS-Care program from complete collapse, but that does not take the sting out of how those changes will impact retirement security for hundreds of thousands of TRS retirees.

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Rallies Planned and Bills Filed: TRTA Readies for Special Session

The Texas Retired Teachers Association’s (TRTA) members have been communicating with fellow retirees, active teachers and their legislators back home since the 85th Legislative Session concluded on Memorial Day.

Many public education retirees in Texas are understandably concerned about how their fixed monthly income will support the impending changes to the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. As our members may recall, TRS-Care faced a $1 billion shortfall this session. Without legislative action, this shortfall would have fallen entirely on the backs of retirees, causing premiums to spike to an estimated $1,200 to $1,500 per month.

 

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New TRTATV Episode: TRTA Interviews Top TRS Officials

Tim Lee, the Executive Director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), hosted a new episode of TRTATV yesterday. Originally, the episode was scheduled to appear on Facebook Live, but due to audio technical issues, the video could not be broadcast live.

Nonetheless, the episode has been recorded with the Executive Director of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Brian Guthrie and the Katrina Daniel, the TRS Chief Health Care Officer.

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TRTA Facebook Live Event Cancelled Due to Technical Difficulties, Interview with TRS Officials to Be Filmed and Shared

Due to several unforeseen technical and internet connectivity issues today (Wednesday, June 28), the Texas Retired Teachers Association’s scheduled Facebook Live event has been cancelled.

However, Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) officials Executive Director Brian Guthrie and Chief Health Care Officer Katrina Daniel have agreed to film a segment with TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee today. 

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Reminder: TRTA Facebook Live Event This Wednesday, Featuring Top TRS Officials

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) will host a Facebook Live event this Wednesday, June 28 at 11:00 a.m., featuring two top officials from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS).

TRS Executive Director Brian Guthrie and Chief Health Care Officer Katrina Daniel will join TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee on Facebook Live to discuss TRS-Care. Guthrie and Daniel will be answering TRTA member submitted questions cultivated from phone calls, emails and social media.

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HB 3976 Signed Into Law

Gov. Gregg Abbott has signed HB 3976 into law. HB 3976 will make significant changes to the retiree health insurance program, TRS-Care. Primarily, HB 3976 increases the amount of money retirees must put into TRS-Care to keep to program solvent.

For pre-65 retirees, the increased burden falls under the umbrella of a high deductible health care plan. For retirees over the age of 65, the changes require all Medicare-eligible participants to join Medicare Advantage. You can learn more about these changes in this summary.

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TRS Board Meets, Enacts TRS-Care Changes From HB 3976

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees held meetings on June 1 and 2. The TRS Board of Trustees finalized changes to TRS-Care’s benefit structure during the meetings as recommended by the Texas Legislature.
 
TRS-Care, the health insurance program provided by Texas to more than 256,000 retired teachers, underwent significant funding and structural changes during the 85th Legislative Session.

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