Lt. Gov. Patrick: 'This Session We're Going to Do Both' to Attract Teachers – Using the State's Surplus to Create a COLA

“’75 for 75’ plus a COLA”

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas Today, as President of the Texas Senate, our members have passed two "Supplemental Checks" for Texas teachers in the last 4 Legislative Sessions, and we plan to continue that in this 2023 session, said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston,) has filed Senate Bill 10 – with all 31 Texas Senators signing on to be Joint Authors.

Upon Sen. Huffman filing the bill, Patrick said:

“Today, Senate Committee on Finance Chair Joan Huffman filed SB 10 to help our most senior retired educators to create a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for all retired educators, as of December 2021.

“Since the end of last session, as I traveled the state, retired educators thanked the Legislature for those checks – but also asked for a COLA. I told them whatever you think is best, we'll do.

“This session we are going to do both – by using money from our surplus to create the COLA.

"SB 10 will also send a $7,500 check to the approximately 186,000 retired educators aged 75 and over. This group of retired educators has struggled financially for many years due to fixed lower retirement benefits.

“SB 10 also creates a 2% COLA for all retired educators who have been retired 2 to 9 years – and a 4% COLA for retired educators who have been retired 10 years or more.

"The Senate plan will not require any additional contributions from current educators or school districts. The state will fund this entire program using money from our surplus to give back to educators who have given so much for our students.”

Upon filing SB 10, Chairman Joan Huffman said:
"Because of our major pension reform in 2019 – which led the pension fund to actuarial soundness – we now have the ability to give our retired educators a much-deserved COLA, which will be paid for by the Legislature and not financed by the fund.

"This is absolutely a priority for me, the Lt. Governor and the entire Senate. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get it passed," said Huffman.

Time for Texas Teachers to get Social Security

"I have also asked Chairman Huffman to author a resolution to the new Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives to finally do what is right and allow Texas teachers to also get certain Social Security benefits. Congress was slated to pass that bill in December, but the bill died," said Lt. Gov. Patrick.

“It is time for the new Republican-controlled U.S. House and the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate to get this done. It is long overdue.

"I will contact key members of Congress soon, and after session, I will lead a group of Texas Senators to travel to Washington, D.C. to meet those members and do all we can to finally make it happen.”