The Senate Finance Committee and the House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee heard bills that would provide significant enhancements to school retiree benefits.
SB 10 by Senate Finance Chair Joan Huffman was heard and passed out of that committee today. SB 10 includes the following major components.
TCTA registered support for SB 10.
HB 600 was heard and left pending in the House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee. Its provisions include:
It is noteworthy that HB 600 requires passage of a constitutional amendment by the legislature and by voters. The language would require that the legislature directly fund retiree benefit increases, rather than paying for them through the pension fund as is current practice.
TCTA testified neutrally on HB 600, noting our support for the benefit increases but concern about the requirement that active members increase their contributions to help pay for the enhancements at a time when we cannot be certain that teachers and other school personnel will be provided with a significant across-the-board pay raise.
The fact that the Senate version was approved before the House bill reflects the difference in procedures between the House and Senate rather than an indication that SB 10 is more likely to pass. House committees often leave bills pending for at least a week before voting on them. We anticipate that both bills will continue moving for now and will eventually merge in some form.