More Stinkin' Priorities
So many hopes--so much dashing of hopes.
Preparing for the special session happening NOW in the Texas Legislature, Drew Darby (R--San Angelo) submitted two bills: HB 76, which would add $50 million from general revenue to the Teacher Retirement System; and HB 80, which would provide a one-time cost-of-living-adjustment to retiree pensions. (TRS recipients DO NOT have automatic COLA'S as do Social Security recipients.)
Anyway, thank you, Mr. Darby. High hopes. A proposal to benefit retired teachers, and a way to fund it.
However, when I queried the Texas Tribune, whose reporters watch the legislature like hawks on a bunny, about when, perhaps, these bills will be considered, I got this answer (paraphrased): Governor Abbott sets the priorities in the Special Session, and these issues are not among his priorities.
In other words, when pigs fly.
Also, according to the Texas Tribune, even Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has a proposal for increasing teacher pay and retiree benefits across the board. Imagine my surprise. However, here's an astute assessment from the comments below the article. And I agree:
So Patrick's plan depends entirely on shuffling lottery money around, stiffing managed care organizations, and twisting the arms of school districts to pay teachers more from their already impoverished budgets. Guess he thinks supplemental state funding is too precious to be wasted on teachers.
Here's the original article: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/07/13/lt-gov-special-session-education/
Another comment I like about Patrick's plan: "All hat and no cattle."