A bipartisan bill during a special session of the Texas Legislature could have given retired educators in Texas an added check to help with the inflated cost of living.
House Bill 3214, which was introduced by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) would have increased the monthly cost of living boost to retirees’ checks of 6%, capped at $100.
Retired teachers were hoping that a “13th check” would have been given the green light from lawmakers convening for this month’s special session.
The bill was one that both Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on as changing pay retirement for teachers has received strong vocal support from both sides of the political aisle.
Rep. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) tweeted that the session was ready to bring the bill to fruition.
“Today, we convened for our first special session,” she said. “Senate Finance meets tomorrow to begin our work on funding items on the call, including a 13th check for retired teachers. Let’s get to work!”
It’s been more than 17 years since retired teachers received what’s known as a cost of living adjustment.
Unfortunately for retired teachers, the measure died before being brought before the full House.
Executive director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association, Tim Lee, said that the money would have gone to cover expenses that retired teachers face, rather than splurging on items.
“Retirees are not spending these dollars on, you know, the flat screen televisions,” Lee told Killeen-based television station, KWTX.
They’re not out buying brand new cars, but rather they’re paying for food and medicine, and the basic costs of living, Lee said.
Changing retired teachers pay was one of the 11 items on the agenda lawmakers hoped to discuss during the special session in Austin.