TRS-Care Relief for Retirees, Potential TRS Pension Cost-of-Living Increase on Tap

The Texas House on Tuesday will vote on two bills to give retired school employees a better deal. HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would use $212 million from the Rainy Day Fund to reduce health-care cost increases facing retirees starting in January under the TRS-Care health plan. TRS-Care participants under age 65 would […]

Bills Pre-Filed for July 18 Special Session: Good, Bad, Ugly

State lawmakers have been quick to take Gov. Greg Abbott up on his invitation yesterday to start filing bills for the special session he has called for July 18. Only a couple of the pre-filed bills relate to the one must-pass item formally placed on the Legislature’s agenda by Abbott thus far:  extension of the “sunset” […]

State 2018-19 Budget Bill Represents a Missed Opportunity; Accountability News

The 2018-19 state budget was approved Saturday by votes of 30 to 1 in the Texas Senate and 135 to 14 in the House. It amounts to a missed opportunity to improve funding for public schools as well as other vital public services. The bill, SB 1, keeps per-pupil funding at the current level but […]

Pension Peril: It’s Your Fight, Too

A batch of dangerous bills pending in the Texas Legislature would take away guaranteed pension benefits from municipal employees and set the template for future attacks on state pension funds like the one run by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Our first line of defense against pension takeaways affecting TRS is to help city […]

Fox Takes Up Residence in Henhouse at Pension Review Board

Josh McGee, a prominent critic of guaranteed retirement benefits for public employees, will now be chairing the State Pension Review Board, thanks to a two-thirds vote in the Texas Senate Thursday. McGee’s appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott was snagged for weeks because of grass-roots opposition that translated into a blocking minority of 11 senators depriving […]

Legislative Wrap-Up for March 17

Controversial Pick for Pension Board Faces Texas Senate Opposition: Serious opposition has developed in the Texas Senate to the appointment of Josh McGee to serve as chair of the State Pension Review Board. McGee is a prominent critic of state-guaranteed pension benefits and is employed by a foundation in Houston that has led attacks on […]

Committee Vote Coming Up on Fox in the Pension Henhouse; School Finance and Property Tax News

Committee Vote Coming Up on Fox in the Pension Henhouse: The Senate Nominations Committee is due to act March 16 on a State Pension Review Board appointee known for his criticism of guaranteed pension benefits. Josh McGee, Gov. Greg Abbott’s choice to chair the Review Board, is a functionary of the Houston-based Arnold Foundation that […]

Texas AFT Recommends Charleston in TRS Trustee Election

The 2017 TRS trustee nomination election is under way from now until May 5. The Texas AFT executive council has endorsed the reappointment of Karen Charleston for a seat on the Teacher Retirement System of Texas board of trustees. Charleston has served as a TRS trustee since 2011, when she was appointed to what was […]

Remove the Fox from the Pension Henhouse!

Send your letter now telling your senator to vote “No” on putting a fox in the pension henhouse! Houston-based hedge-fund billionaire and former Enron trader John Arnold for years has mounted an attack on public pensions providing guaranteed lifetime benefits that you cannot outlive—pension plans like your Texas Teacher Retirement System. Arnold’s attacks have been […]

Your Voice: Use It or Lose It!

Update! Senate Bill 13 and House Bill 510 would have eliminated payroll deduction to pay union dues for most public employees, including teachers and other school personnel, nurses, correctional officers, child protection workers, and other public-sector workers at the state and local level. Both bills died, but the threat still remains. Learn the facts here.