FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/26/2015
Rep. DeWayne Burns Supports Fully Funding Health Insurance for Retired Teachers
AUSTIN - In response to growing concerns over whether Texas’ retired teachers would continue to receive healthcare benefits as they have for the last few decades, Texas State Representative DeWayne Burns (Cleburne), joined House Appropriations Committee Chairman, John Otto (Dayton) in committing to fully fund TRS-Care for the 2016-17 biennium. "I am proud to support Chairman Otto in his announcement on the House floor yesterday (Feb. 25th) that the Texas House will fully fund TRS-Care, the health insurance program for retired public school employees of Texas, " said Representative DeWayne Burns.
"This issue is too important to go unaddressed so I commit to our retired teachers that the House will fully fund TRS-Care and our obligations to our retired teachers."
The TRS-Care retiree health insurance program was created in 1986 and now has roughly 240,000 participants. The TRS-Care shortfall is expected to be approximately $768 million by the end of the 2016-17 biennium.
"I am committed to providing TRS-Care with all necessary additional funding to ensure the future sustainability of this vital program. Considering 95 percent of our retired school employees do not receive Social Security benefits, securing this funding will prevent any drastic change in access to affordable health care to our retired teachers," Rep. Burns said.
"As a former member of the Cleburne ISD Board of Education, I recognize the valuable role of our former, current and future educators. We need to make sure TRS-Care is funded," he continued.
"Texas teachers are a large part of molding the Texas leaders of tomorrow and many teachers and retirees have expressed their concerns on this matter. I am glad the House will address the shortage of funding for retiree health care over the next two years as we continue to assess long-term solutions for those who served our state and our school children for so many years," Rep. Burns noted.
Rep. DeWayne Burns is serving his first term in the Texas House of Representatives and serves on the Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.