Topic: Benefits

They Can Run, But They Can’t Hide—Call Your U.S. Senators This Week About a Bad Health-Care Bill

Senators are home for July Fourth recess this week, and many Republican senators are refusing to hold town halls because they know voters are outraged over the cruel health-care bill their party leaders are trying to ram through the Senate. They can run, but they can’t hide. Call your senators’ state offices now and demand they oppose Trumpcare. Even though...

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Interim Pension Studies Set Stage for State Legislative Action in 2017

The framework for a much-needed infusion of state health-care funding this year for retired school employees, forestalling significant premium increases and benefit cuts, was set by interim House committee hearings in 2014. Hence it gets our attention when we see what House Speaker Joe Straus has asked the House Pensions Committee to study during the current interim leading up to...

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Interim Studies on State Spending Issues Afford Early Warning of What’s to Come

Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby used to say that the only must-pass bill the legislature ever considers is the budget, and the rest is poetry. With that axiom in mind, take a look at some of the interim-study assignments given by the presiding officers in the Texas House and Texas Senate to their respective budget-writing committees. They are harbingers of...

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Pension Crisis?

Pension Crisis? Well-funded corporate interests are investing tons of money in efforts to convince Americans that public pension systems are in crisis, cannot be sustained, and can easily be replaced by 401(k)-style individual retirement accounts. Their bogus arguments to date have gained little traction in Texas, where legislators have acted responsibly by keeping up required contributions to pension funds like...

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Speaking of Teacher Shortages, Please Note—Financial Relief Available for Teaching in High-Need Schools and High-Need Subject Areas

This week the national media seem to have discovered there is a shortage of teachers in many parts of the country, especially a shortage of teachers prepared to serve in low-income schools or high-need subject areas. For devotees of free-market economics, one is tempted to say the supply-and-demand solution to this problem should be blindingly obvious: higher pay. It also...

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“Freedom Scholarship” for Hispanic/Latino High School Seniors—Apply by June 13

The American Federation of Teachers Latino Caucus is now accepting applications for the Maria Portalatin National Freedom Scholarship. Lifetime activist Maria Portalatin helped create the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and was a member of the United Federation of Teachers, the New York State United Teachers, and the American Federation of Teachers. This annual prize is named the "Freedom...

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State-Sponsored Home-Purchase Help for Educators—Dispelling Myths

Periodically the Hotline has posted updates on the eligibility of professional educators (defined to include teachers, teacher aides, school librarians, school counselors, school nurses, and higher-ed nursing and allied-health faculty) for low-interest home loans and down-payment grants from the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation. The folks at TSAHC have advised us that some myths about the program need to be...

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Affordable Housing for Educators—Low-Cost Mortgage Loans plus Outright Grants to Help Cover Down Payments or Closing Costs

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation has a Homes for Texas Heroes Loan Program, created by the Texas legislature, that provides eligible professionals with low-interest loans and down-payment or closing-cost grants to meet their housing needs. Since 2005, the TSAHC has helped nearly 8,600 Texas families realize their dream of home ownership. Who is eligible for the Homes for Texas...

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