Tinderholt Files Legislation to Mirror Legislator Benefits to Teachers, Retired Teachers

Tinderholt Files Legislation to Mirror Legislator Benefits to Teachers, Retired Teachers

 

This will immediately make legislators focus on TRS Active-Care, TRS Care, & pensions.

(Austin) Last week State Representative Tony Tinderholt filed HB 1440, legislation that would move legislators from their current health care format to mirror what active and retired teachers receive under the Teacher Retirement System (TRS).

This bill sends a message that legislators should receive the same benefits as our largest pool of government employees – teachers. And while this bill targets health benefits directly, the intent is to also indirectly focus on finding a long-term fix to the TRS pension system.

Tinderholt commented on the legislation stating, “It’s about time we as legislators put ourselves in the same boat as teachers. If my colleagues walk a mile in teachers’ shoes, they will better understand the importance of keeping these programs solvent – both healthcare and pensions.”

HB 1440 requires the Employees Retirement System (ERS) to develop a special health plan for all state representatives, senators, the lieutenant governor, and the governor that mirrors what teachers receive under TRS. For active legislators, the plan must mirror TRS Active-Care, while for retired legislators, the benefits will be the same as retired teachers enrolled in TRS Care. All health benefits (premiums, deductibles, etc.) must be comparable.

At the same time, Tinderholt also filed a separate bill (HB 1441) giving retired teachers a “Golden Ticket” to explore health care options outside the system and return once without penalty. At times, retired teachers have found cheaper and better insurance outside TRS. Some of those individuals would like to return and others still in the system would like a risk free opportunity to seek other options. HB 1441 would give both sides some comfort.

Tinderholt holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and has retired teachers in his immediate family. A former college professor, he is a strong advocate for teachers and students in Texas. Further information about Tinderholt can be found at TonyTinderholt.com.