The Texas House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for two bills that aim to help retired teachers.
The House voted for House Bill 20, which appropriates $212 million to help defray rising premium, deductible, and out-of-pocket costs for retired teachers. House Bill 80 provides the Teacher Retirement System with the opportunity to provide retirees with a cost-of-living adjustment.
In the regular legislative session earlier this year, the Texas House led the successful effort to close a $1 billion shortfall in TRS-Care, the health care program for retired teachers.
House Speaker Joe Straus released the following statement after Tuesday’s vote:
“Earlier this year, the Texas House appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars to close the shortfall in TRS-Care, the health care program for our retired teachers. This decision preserved the existence of TRS-Care over the next couple of years. Since the end of the regular session, House members across the state have heard from retirees who are concerned about some significant increases in premiums and deductibles. Based on the feedback we’ve heard back home, the House cast an overwhelming vote Tuesday to help retired teachers who are facing very steep increases in their monthly expenses. Helping retired teachers is one of the most significant and important things that we can do in this special session, and I’m proud that the House came together today to support these educators. This vote was a smart and appropriate use of about 2 percent of the $11 billion that is projected to be in the state’s Rainy Day Fund in the next budget cycle. It will keep the Rainy Day Fund balance at a historically high level while helping Texans who have committed their lives to the education of our children.”