Hanson's Legislative Report (4/28/15)

Legislative Update from Ken Hanson - District 20 Legislative Chair   April 28, 2015

Deadlines for bills to have a chance for success during this 84th session of the Texas Legislature are fast approaching.  May 11 is the deadline for a bill to leave a committee.  Bills that do leave the committee must meet more deadlines on May 12, 13, 14, and 15th.  Missing any of these deadline dates will send the bill to the bill grave yard for this session.

TRTA has two bills in the Pension Committee it does support: HB 1967 by Keffer (13th check) and HB 3541 by Darby (COLA for those that did not receive one last session).  No hearing has been set for HB 2541.  A committee hearing for HB 1967 has been set for May 4, 2015.  What are the chances for these bills? SLIM for HB 1967 and NONE for HB 2541.

Budget:  Five Texas House members and five Texas Senate members will meet to work out the budget differences for SB 2 and HB 1.  TRS-Care funding is found in HB 2 and SB 1993, both supplemental funding bills. While is looks good for TRS-Care funding for another two years, it is not a done deal yet.

While it would be nice to finish a legislative session by accomplishing all of the goals set at the beginning, TRTA has a good chance to end with two out of three accomplished.  Protecting SB 1458 passed in 2013 session, funding TRS-Care and seeking some sort of supplemental help were goals set. 

Many of the legislators that have supported retired teachers’ issues have done so under pressure from several groups that have a different viewpoint on what is best for retirees.  Many of those that have been supporters of our bills have been targeted with competition for the next round of elections by these groups.

This is the time of the session when a personal phone call to your legislator means a lot.  Thanking them for their support and encouraging them to continue with that support is time well spent and lets them know we appreciate their support. 

A separate posting with the names of our legislators lists their office phone numbers so each Huajilla member can call his or her legislator to thank them and their office staff.