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TASA Registers Support for Several Appropriations Bills Considered by House Committee

07.25.2017 — TASA registered support for the following bills being considered by the House Appropriations Committee today:

  • HB 20 (Ashby, et al.) would appropriate $150 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) to TRS-Care. The bill specifies that the appropriation must be used only to decrease premiums and deductibles for the 2018 and 2019 plan years for members enrolled in the high deductible health plan for non-Medicare retirees.

  • HB 24 (Darby, et al.) would increase the minimum salary schedule. It would specify that, for the 2017-18 school year, each classroom teacher, full-time librarian, full-time school counselor, or full-time school nurse is entitled to the monthly salary the employee would have received for the 2017-18 school year under the district's salary schedule for the 2016-17 school year, if that schedule had been in effect for the 2017-18 school year; plus $100. The bill would also require any classroom teacher, full-time librarian, full-time school counselor, or full-time nurse to receive a salary that is at least equal to the salary the employee received for the 2017-18 school year in each subsequent year, as long as that employee is employed by the same district. The bill would provide additional state aid equal to $1,000 per classroom teacher, full-time librarian, full-time school counselor, and full-time school nurse employed by a district and appropriate an additional $848 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund in the 2018-19 biennium to TEA to pay for it. The bill provides that it is the intent of the Legislature that: 1) TEA shall transfer $63 million to TRS as the state's contribution toward retirement and health benefits related to the provisions of the bill; and 2) that each professional public school employee subject to the minimum salary schedule must receive a salary increase.

  • HB 76 (Darby, et al.) would appropriate $50 million of General Revenue in each fiscal year of the 2018-19 biennium to Strategy A.2.1., Retiree Health – Statutory Funds of TRS-Care.

  • HB 80 (Darby, et al.) would make a one-time cost-of-living adjustment to the retirement benefits paid to certain service retirees, disability retirees, and survivors by TRS. To be eligible for the increase, the annuitant must have retired between August 31, 2004, and August 31, 2015. The amount of the increase would be the lesser of 3 percent of the annuitant's monthly benefit or $100 per month, and the increase would begin with the annuity payable for September 2017. 

  • HB 151 (Gooden, et al.) would appropriate $1 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund to TRS-Care. The bill specifies that TRS must use $250 million in each of the 2018-21 plan years to reduce deductibles for the health benefit plan coverage provided under a basic plan; enhance coverage for prescription drugs; provide subsidies for premium contributions of Medicare-eligible members and dependent coverage; and reduce out-of-pocket costs. The funds appropriated by the bill may not be used to offset the statutory contributions otherwise required for the state, active employees, or school districts.

  • HJR 18 (Howard) would amend the Texas Constitution to require the state to fund at least 50 percent of the cost of maintaining and operating a system of public and free schools.

See video of the hearing.