With nine months until the Texas Legislature meets in Austin for its 88th session, we’re starting to get a sense of the issues that will directly affect state retirees like you.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick this month issued a series of interim charges for the Senate between now and January. He has asked the Senate Finance Committee to review and report on inflation’s effects on the economy, the cost of state services, the business community, and state government — including employee salaries and retirees’ benefits.
We know that the nation’s historic 8 percent inflation has made it harder for you to pay for everything from groceries to gas. We will provide information to lawmakers as they explore that impact. And we will show them why it’s vital to approve a 13th yearly check for ERS members in the short term (like retired teachers have had in recent years) and a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in the long term.
The Finance Committee will also monitor the recent statewide pension reforms at ERS. As you may remember, the Legislature last year approved Senate Bill 321, which committed to investing $1 billion each biennium moving forward to make ERS sound while also creating a new employee category in the pension plan for future state workers.
Throughout it all, we will educate lawmakers about your contributions to Texas and make the case that — now more than ever — it’s time for them to fully and fairly support retired state workers who spent their careers making Texas safer, stronger, and healthier.