The Texas Legislature is currently in session. Below is a list of summarized bills that could affect the programs administered by the ERS. For more information on each bill and to learn about the legislative process, visit the Texas Legislature Online website .

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GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS BILLS

SB 2
HB 1

Retirement:
• ERS – State contribution rates of 9.5% for both years of biennium; plus an additional state agency contribution at the rate of 0.5% of base payroll
Note: on 3/10/15, the House announced in a press conference their intention to raise the state contribution to 9.5%.
• LECOSRF – 0.5% state contribution rate for both years of biennium
• JRS 2 – 15.66% state contribution rate for both years of biennium
• JRS 1 – Fully funded

Group Health Plan:
• Funded sufficiently to potentially avoid benefit changes through FY 2017

• Maintains current 100% member and 50% dependent state contribution
• Maintains 1% of base payroll contribution from participating state agencies and higher education institutions
• Requires ERS to provide reports regarding the bidding and administration of the HealthSelect contract to LBB and SAO.
• Requires ERS to work with Texas Diabetes Council to study pre-diabetes and consider developing a diabetes prevention program. 

Other Benefits:
• Public Safety Benefits (Chapter 615) – Fully funded
• Retiree Death Benefits – Fully funded

RETIREMENT

Retirement - Elected Class

SB 1683

Fixes elected class annuity at 2% of $125,000 for members entering the class on or after 9/1/2015, with a maximum of 12 years of service.

SB 110  

Suspends or reduces annuities of elected class officers on final conviction of a felony or certain misdemeanors related to the officer's official duties.

SB 115  

Prohibits ERS from withholding as confidential the name or amount of annuity of a retired member of the legislature.

HB 408
SB 1773

Prevents certain members of the elected class from transferring service to the employee class, or from retiring from the employee class while still in elected office.

HB 681

Makes elected officials ineligible to receive an annuity if convicted of bribery, embezzlement, or perjury.

SB 19

Adds reporting requirements for individuals required to file financial reports to the Ethics Commission, including public and private retirement income. Applies to ERS Board members.

SB 1516

Fixes retirement annuity of members of the legislature and statewide elected officials at 2% of a district judge's salary, as that salary existed on August 31, 2015.

Retirement - Employee Class

HB 442

Allows beneficiaries to have all or part of an employee's or retiree's death benefits be payable directly to a funeral director or establishment.  

SB 465

Suspends or reduces annuities of Texas Juvenile Justice Department employees on final conviction of a certain offenses against a minor student.

HB 9

Raises the employee contribution to 9.5%, effective 9/1/2015, and ties the employee and state contributions together.

SB 1157

Repeals Section 814.009, Texas Government Code, which allows ERS to deduct membership fees for a state employee organization from a retiree's annuity.

SB 1917

Raises the employee contribution to 8%, the state agency contribution to 1%, and the state contribution required by the Texas Government Code to 10%, effective 9/1/2015.

SB 1941

Clarifies that a member who terminates  must designate a new beneficiary on returning to work, and that a death benefit is not payable to a member on leave without pay.

Retirement - Law Enforcement and Custodial Officer Supplemental Retirement Fund (LECOSRF)

Retirement - JRS 1 and 2

CHAPTER 615

SB 436
HB 1278

Increases lump sum survivor benefit from $250,000 to $500,000, and doubles the monthly benefit paid to surviving minor children.

INSURANCE

Insurance - Coverages

SB 194

Requiring HIV tests to be a part of routine blood work. 

SB 264

Allows dependents of the wrongfully imprisoned to participate in the GBP.

HB 3476

Requires ERS to establish a telehealth and telemedicine pilot program for annuitants, to begin June 1, 2016. 

SB 575 

Requires health plans to offer abortion coverage as a separate coverage, and cover abortions under the supplemental plan only when a medical emergency exists.

HB 3130

Requires health plans to offer abortion coverage as a separate coverage, and cover abortions under the health plan only when a life-threatening physical condition exists.

Insurance - Plan Design/Funding

HB 966
SB 482

Requires ERS to establish a voluntary consumer-directed health plan in the form of a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) as an alternative to HealthSelect with coverage to begin September 1, 2016. 

HB 2935

Requires ERS and TRS to jointly conduct a study of the benefits and disadvantages of establishing a patient-reported outcomes registry for musculoskeletal care.

HB 3307
SB 1816

Requires ERS to offer a  TRICARE Military Health System Supplemental plan.

Insurance - Eligibility

HB 2123

Allows a member of the state military forces who has been on active duty for more than 60 days to participate in the GBP as a full-time state employee and receive a state contribution towards insurance premiums.

SB 1834

Allows a member of the Texas National Guard who is on active duty providing border security to participate in the GBP as a full-time state employee and receive a state contribution towards insurance premiums.

BENEFITS ELIGIBILITY

HB 4105

Prohibits state employees from recognizing any marriage license or certification that does not comply with Section 32, Article 1, Texas Constitution 

INVESTMENTS

SB 940

Changes required reports on prohibited investments in Sudan and Iran from annually to 30 days after the updated list is received.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

HB 3227

Requires that one of  the members elected to the Board of Trustees be a retiree.

SB 1146

Adds option for one elected Board member to be a retiree.

FUNDING

HB 3310 

Requires ERS to work with the Legislature to develop a funding soundness restoration plan.

SJR 68

Proposed constitutional amendment to transfer $1.5 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) to the ERS trust.

CONTRACTING

HB 15 
SB 20/HB 3241  
SB 543/HB 1426  

These bills create various new processes for state agency contracting. Provisions included in the various bills include increased reporting and disclosure requirements, new oversight and review authority, required contract terms, and other provisions. ERS is working with the various authors and other stakeholders to track these bills. Versions of all three bills (HB 15, SB 20, and SB 543) have passed out of their chamber of origin.

Updated May 7, 2015