AUSTIN – State Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) filed two bills for consideration on the
first day of the recently convened special legislative session.

The first, House Bill 193, would appropriate $150 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund
(commonly referred to as the Rainy Day Fund) to decrease health insurance premiums and
deductibles for retired educators under the age of 65 who participate in TRS-Care. The Teacher
Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has indicated that an appropriation of this size would be
enough to significantly reduce both of these costly expenses for retirees. The new plan, which
offers a single option to Medicare retirees and a second for those non-Medicare eligible
participants, was adopted after Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3976 into law on June
9th.

“After more than a decade without increasing premiums for TRS-Care retirees – and with
healthcare costs skyrocketing in that same time – some structural changes to TRS-Care were
necessary to ensure that the program was not eliminated altogether,” Ashby said. “It was a
privilege to work with organizations representing retired public school employees, and my
colleagues in the Legislature, to make certain our retired educators continue having healthcare
coverage. However,” Ashby continued, “after hearing from thousands of teachers across Texas,
I’ve asked Governor Abbott to add further improvements to the program, such as the proposal in House Bill 193, in his call for this special session.”

The second piece of legislation is similar to a bill that Ashby has previously filed on several
occasions. House Bill 194 would address the arbitrary small school adjustment formula from our
state’s school finance system, and help create greater equity among public school districts, no
matter their size.

“During the regular session, both the House and Senate approved this measure as part of a
comprehensive school finance bill,” Ashby said. “Though that bill did not ultimately pass, due to
other factors, it’s clear that legislators favor the common sense reform this bill enacts.”

Representative Ashby is the State Representative for House District 57, which encompasses all of
Angelina, Houston, Leon, Madison, San Augustine, and Trinity Counties. He is currently in his
third term as a member of the Texas House of Representatives and serves on the House
Appropriations, Natural Resources, and Calendars Committees.