Texas Pension Bill Likely to Land on Governor’s Desk Soon

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A bill calling for pension changes passed the Texas Senate on Friday just weeks after clearing the House. The slightly-modified bill will now go back to the House for likely approval, which means it could be on the governor’s desk sooner than later.

The bill aims to shore up the funding of Texas’ Employees Retirement System by forcing workers to pay a higher contribution rate during their working lives.

More from the Texas Tribune:

The Texas Senate on Friday voted to beef up the state’s underfunded retirement system for state employees by adding about $440 million to the program.

The Employees Retirement System pension fund is about $7 billion short — it holds 76 cents for every dollar it promises to state retirees. The Senate approved House Bill 9 by Dan Flynn, chairman of the House Pensions Committee, which targets the shortfall by raising state employee contributions to the fund to 9.5 percent of their payroll by 2017 — a 2 percent increase. The measure was sponsored in the Senate by Joan Huffman, R-Houston.

HB 9 passed the House last month. If the lower chamber approves minor changes added in the Senate, the measure will head to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

“It’s not nearly enough,” Seth Hutchinson, vice president of the Texas State Employees Union, told The Texas Tribune in March. “State employees can’t afford to work for the state anymore.”

Read the text of House Bill 9 here.

 

Photo credit: “Flag-map of Texas” by Darwinek – self-made using Image:Flag of Texas.svg and Image:USA Texas location map.svg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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