The 85th Texas Legislature is in session January 10 - May 29, 2017. 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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Retirement

Retirement - Elected Class
HB 422
SB 68
Makes legislators and statewide elected officials ineligible to receive an annuity if convicted of bribery, embezzlement, perjury, or other offenses related to performance of public service.
Retirement - Employee Class
HB 398 Provides an immediate 10% COLA, effective 9/1/17, plus a 4% annual COLA for annuitants. Also provides a supplemental payment equal to the lesser of the monthly annuity or $2,000, payable in January '18.
HB 632
Caps the annuity of a retiree from a public retirement system at a maximum based on certain Federal salaries.
Retirement - JRS 1 & 2
SB 45 Allows JRS 2 retirees to resume service in JRS 2 if they return to service as a judicial officer after a break of more than 12 months, and have their annuity recalculated when they leave service.

Chapter 615 (Survivor benefits for officers killed in the line of duty)

SB 15
HB 570
Provides a homestead tax exemption for the surviving spouse of certain first responders killed in the line of duty.

Insurance

Insurance - Coverages
HB 195 Requires the GBP to cover a diagnostic mammogram in the same manner as a screening mammogram.
HB 490 Requires the GBP to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for certain people.
HB 717
Requires the GBP to cover HIV testing.
HB 940 Requires the GBP to provide an enrollee with up to a 12 month supply of a covered contraceptive.
SB 20
HB 1113
Prohibits the GBP from covering abortions, except as a separate coverage with a separate premium, and only in the case of medical emergency.
SB 411
Prohibits the GBP from automatically rejecting a campus-based mental health professional from contracting with the plan based on the professional’s service area.
Insurance - Eligibility
HB 224 Prohibits insurers from denying coverage to an individual with a pre-existing condition.
Insurance – Other                  
SB 55 Requires ERS and TRS to study a patient-reported outcomes registry for musculoskeletal care.
HB 307 Requires health care facilities and practitioners to disclose prices to patients.
HB 507 Adds emergency care providers to the list of health care providers who may be required to mediate out-ofnetwork
claims for GBP participants.

Investments

HB 89
SB 134
Prohibits statewide pension funds (including ERS) from investing in companies that boycott Israel, and requires divesting from those companies. Also prohibits all state agencies from contracting with those companies.
SB 253 Prohibits statewide pension funds (including ERS) from investing in companies that provide supplies or services to foreign terrorist organizations, and requires divesting from those companies.
SB 509 Requires certain local retirement systems (excluding ERS) to select a firm to regularly assess the retirement
system's investment practices and performance.

Board of Trustees

HB 265 Allows one of the members elected to the Board of Trustees to be a retiree. Effective for the elected member position taking office on 9/1/2019.
HB 1014 Allows a member elected to the Board of Trustees to be a retiree, with a limit of one retiree. Effective for the
elected member position taking office on 9/1/2019.

Funding

SJR 24 Proposed constitutional amendment to appropriate a surplus in the Rainy Day Fund to sources including the ERS trust fund.

Contracting

SB 252 Prevents state agencies from contracting with companies that provide supplies or services to foreign terrorist organizations.

Open Records

HB 792
SB 407
Redefines the information that may be withheld from an open records request because release of the information would result in a competitive disadvantage.
HB 793
SB 408
Expands the definition of governmental bodies subject to the open records law.
SB 456 Allows legislators, committees, and legislative agencies to access governmental information for legislative
purposes.
SB 515 Allows a member of a board of a state agency to access information, documents, and property related to that
state agency.