Sunday, May 12, 2013

Letter to My Representative Regarding Needed Changes to TRS SB 1458

Texas Senate Bill 1458 has passed the Senate in an unanimous vote and is making its way to the House as early as Tuesday, May 14th. The details on what the bill includes can be found here: The bill is much improved over its original version, but still denies many current educators access to comprehensive health care when they retire and does not grant a cost of living increase to all retirees. Below is the letter I just emailed to my representative. Although personalized correspondence is best, if you want to speak your mind and are short on time, you can use this form to send a letter to your representative as well. You can customize the letter within the form:

Dear Representative Gonzales,

Thank you for responding to my concerns about TRS legislation that has been considered during this legislative session. I am greatly encouraged by the efforts made in the Senate to improve the measures being taken to bring the TRS to actuarial soundness while lessening the impacts on currently active educators who are vested in the Teacher Retirement System.

I am writing to ask for your help again. As SB 1458 comes to the House floor as early as Tuesday, May 14th, I ask that you offer or support amendments to:

- Restore comprehensive TRS Care health insurance benefits for ALL currently vested TRS members when they retire. As it stands now, only current members who meet a “Rule of 70” will be eligible for  full health care benefits when they retire. The rest of us, including educators like myself who have anywhere from six to twenty-four years in the system and are under age 50, will have to wait until age 62 to be eligible for comprehensive health care benefits. These are benefits all retirees are able to access under current law and which should not be taken away from currently active educators.

- Provide an immediate cost of living increase for all retirees, not just the 30 percent who would be eligible for a potential 3-percent cost-of-living adjustment (capped at $100 a month) under the Senate version of SB 1458.

Thank you for your continued efforts to offer and support legislation during this session that is in the best interest of Texas students and educators.

Sandra Kendell
Constituent, HD 52