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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Breaking down S.B. 500: The Teacher Retirement Bill

The teacher retirement portions of the bill add a "13th payment" for former educators.

TEMPLE, Texas — Three major school finance laws were passed during the Texas Legislature's 2019 session. 

One of them, Senate Bill 500, focuses on revamping retirement for teachers. 

Section 83 of the bill moves $589 million from the state's economic stabilization fund to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS). That money is designated for a one-time additional payment to retirees. 

Section 84 adds more than $250 million from state funding to the TRS for two years. That money comes from the economic stabilization fund as well.

The idea for Section 84 was to make TRS more financially sound for teachers ending their careers, according to representative Hugh Shine. Shine said more needs to be done to make TRS issue-free. 

"We still have some issues there," he said. "there's still a $40 billion unfunded liability with TRS that we've got to address, so we've still got to work on that." 

Shine said $230 million were included to address shortfalls on health care premiums for teachers. He said the idea behind this and the other education finance bills are to keep them funded for the foreseeable future. 

You can read the full text of SB 500 below: 

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