FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07/21/2017
Chairman James White Co-Authors TRS-Care Stabilization Act
(Austin, TX) - State Representative James White has signed on as a co-author to Rep. Lance Gooden’s (Terrell) House Bill 151, also known as the TRS-Care Stabilization Act.
HB 151 establishes a one-time distribution of $1 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), or Rainy Day Fund, to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas for the active and retired teacher health insurance program. The appropriated funds will direct the TRS Board of Trustees to use $250 million per year starting on January 1, 2018, with the intent to restore loss of benefits or reduce out-of-pocket costs for plan participants.
The TRS Board is required to meet with health care actuaries to discuss options on how the money will be spent. Additionally, the board may and should hold public testimony at their meetings to receive comment on how to best utilize the appropriated funds. Lastly, the board will report to the Governor, Legislature, and Legislative Budget Board how the TRS-Care Stabilization funds will be used prior to the new plan year beginning January 1 of the following year.
“Due to decisions made by politicians in Washington, D.C. and the failure of the Texas Legislature since 1995, active and retired teachers have joined the ranks of Texans seeing skyrocketing insurance premiums, while experiencing reduced medical coverage. It is imperative that the Legislature take action to ensure we maintain the commitment to these Texans who have dedicated their lives to educating our citizens. I thank my colleague, Rep. Gooden, for re-filing this piece of legislation. As a co-author, I will work with him and the Legislature to ensure that we provide affordable healthcare for our retired teachers,” said Rep. White. He concluded, “I do not plan to return to Jasper, Newton, Tyler, Polk, and Hardin counties bragging about the size of the State’s savings account when our retired teachers are having to tap into their limited incomes to afford to see a doctor.”
Please do not hesitate to contact either Saul Mendoza, Chief of Staff, or Shawn Dunn, District Director, with questions regarding these projects at 512-463-0490 or 409-283-3700.