House Bill 3976 passed out of the Texas House in a 143-0 vote this afternoon (May 3). The bill relates to making dramatic changes to TRS-Care, including providing $633 million towards continuing the state-run retiree health insurance program.
Without HB 3976’s passage, TRS-Care would likely have gone into free-fall. The program was predicted to collapse within two years.
The next step for the bill is for the House to have a third reading. If HB 3976 passes this step, it will proceed to the Texas Senate. Finally, Gov. Gregg Abbott must sign it. There are only a few short weeks left in the regular legislative session. HB 3976 must pass in order for retired teachers to have health insurance through the state of Texas. As this bill moves ahead, it may be improved. A key issue is the bill’s funding, which is linked to the budget. The budget, a separate bill from HB 3976, currently is in conference committee.
The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) will keep its members informed as the bill progresses through the Senate chamber.
You can learn more about HB 3976 and its proposed changes to TRS-Care here. TRTA’s Executive Director, Tim Lee, and Legislative Coordinator, Bill Barnes, reviewed HB 3976 and the impact it will have on retirees when they went on Facebook Live last night.