Saturday, February 6, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
Lost: Male Red Nose Pit Bull, "Chevy," wearing an orange collar, friendly, last seen on County Road 403. 830-477-6511 or 830-534-9094.

VideoREWARD. LOST CAT: Gray and white male cat, since Nov. 13, on C.R. 429, Stockdale, wearing a silver collar. Call 512-629-2005 with any information.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

General labor position for local home builder, must have drivers license, driving trailers, clean up, carpentry work, etc., starting at $10. 210-279-4123.
Hiring lawn maintenance laborers, transportation needed to get to Elmendorf yard, 4+ years experience is mandatory, must have clean record, work available year round, great pay. Call for phone interview, 512-359-2640.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
Richardson Chevrolet homeRE/MAX homeTNMC
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


Editorial: Fellow Texans: 83rd Legislature is in session!




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Pris Kincaid
Fellow Texans — Did You Know?
February 20, 2013 | 1,281 views | 1 comment

Fellow Texans, did you know or realize that the 83rd Texas Legislative Session began Jan. 8? Or do you even care? Sometimes we citizens feel powerless about government, but that is another issue. This legislative session will present many challenges for the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) that must be met. We are not powerless, but have a strong voice, with a membership of more than 75,000.

First, there are changes in leadership in the Texas Senate with five new senators, and in the Texas House there are 43 new representatives. This means these new legislators lack the experience with working on complicated issues, and they lack the knowledge of the history of the TRS Pension Fund or TRS-Care funding. TRTA must educate these new legislators. They will be a definite target for special interest groups pushing to change the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) as we know it today.

Second, improvement in funding for the TRS Pension Fund is a must. Even though TRS is the best-funded pension plan in our country, with a value of more than $112 billion, and is able to pay projected benefits through the year 2075, it needs to be actuarially sound. TRTA supports the increase of the state contribution to 6.9 percent in 2014 and to 7.4 percent in 2015. The last legislative session cut funding to 6 percent in 2012 and then to 6.4 percent in 2013. At the current rate (6.4 percent), there is no way retirees will ever be able to have a permanent cost-of-living increase. There has been no cost-of-living increase in 12 years.

A third challenge is that improvement in funding for the TRS-Care Program, which is the teachers’ and school personnel’s health-insurance fund, is most critical. TRTA supports funding of 1 percent in both years of the biennium or of any additional increase. Last session, the appropriation was reduced to 0.5 percent in 2012, and then to 1 percent in 2013, which forced TRS to spend a large amount of the program’s reserve fund. The program is experiencing a number of changes to contain program costs. Even though benefit levels for some TRS-Care participants have improved, the fact remains the program is running out of money. Retirees do not get a free ride. They pay significant premiums, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses, and deductibles, and pay some Medicare costs on top of TRS-Care expenses.

Tim Lee, the executive director of TRTA, emphasized that TRS is “a long-term venture,” and that it is in the “forever business.” He also has stated, “The state cannot keep doing the minimum in funding and hope for maximum results.” Now is the time for some moderate changes to protect the system for the long-term.

On a positive note, at the start of the legislative session, TRTA reports that the baseline proposals show a budget increase for the TRS programs. State revenues are up and the state’s reserve “Rainy Day” fund has increased.

The local retired teacher group, Wilson County Retired School Personnel, is prepared to participate in a capitol rally on March 20. We are asking all TRS members, active and retired, which is an impressive number of more than 1.3 million members, also to participate in contacting legislators, sending them fact sheets, letters, and emails.

We all need to inform our legislators of the facts. That is, most members (95 percent) do not have Social Security, but rely solely on the TRS pension. Retirees have earned their financial security, and it needs to be protected. Retirees need a cost-of-living increase because there has been none since the year 2000.

Please stay tuned for future articles with suggestions.

Pris Kincaid is a retired Texas educator who lives in Wilson County.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
February 20, 2013 10:21am
 
Well Pris, I vote we transfer the teacher retirement funds to the Social Security administration and then make all of you members of that august organization and allow you to share in the largesse enjoyed by the rest of us. That ... More ›

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Agencies uncover $400K in stolen vehicles, parts (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. China Grove begins vote on tax rollback (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Clock running out for Floresville recall issue (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Connally expands high-tech health care (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Council action changes boards (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deputies charge Floresville spurned lover with arson (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deputies investigate recent thefts (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The demand for villains (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: What’s in a city charter? Is it like a … Constitution? (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Eight-liner opponents face deadline (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS pools tornado damage claim with city, Floresville ISD (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville USDA accountant resigns (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free CERT disaster course (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get a free heart health screening in Kenedy Feb. 12 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Greater LV Chamber to meet (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. H-E-B recalls cookware (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hold on for now (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s all happening at Nixon-Smiley Elementary (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Kicaster area will have fire coverage (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Landfill welcomes China Grove junk (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Apple Pie author extends thanks (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Gonzales differs with writer’s conclusion (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Talamantez truly a man of the people (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Life Line Screening event set in Floresville Feb. 28 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mock Republican Debate Feb. 20 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nixon-Smiley livestock show set for March (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. One dead in game-room robbery (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pioneer Award honors Burnside (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pirates Cove in Poth offers after-school care service (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Save the date for Lincoln Dinner (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. School district cops ink deal with city, county (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Second responders to meet (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale, La Vernia units respond to back-to-back fires (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tanneberger is top agent (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Weigh in on Loop 410 changes (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Wilson County Hermann Sons lodges meet new-member goal (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Loving’ heart-shaped treats are for the birds (February 3, 2016)