With the special session more than halfway complete, the Texas House of Representatives has passed important legislation for Texans. Specific legislation pertained to keeping essential state agencies open, decreasing health insurance premiums and deductibles for retired teachers, and a package of bills that would put $1.8 billion into public schools have all passed the Texas House.
The main reason the Legislature came back to Austin for the special session was to pass sunset legislation for several state agencies. Passing House Bill 1 was necessary to prevent some state agencies from closing. These agencies include the Texas Medical Board, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, the State Board of Social Worker Examiners, and others. By extending the sunset date for these regulatory boards, House Bill 1 would help ensure that physicians and other professionals continued to receive appropriate licensure and oversight in Texas.
The Texas House also passed House Bill 20, which would approve a one-time allocation of $212 million into the Teacher Retirement System group insurance fund. TRS-Care is a health plan that serves hundreds of thousands of retired teachers whom are not eligible for Medicare. House Bill 20 would use money from the 'rainy day fund' to reduce premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses for participants in TRS-Care.
Finally, House Bill 21 and House Bill 30 would increase the state's commitment to public education. House Bill 21 would simplify school finance formulas and take an important first step in reforming the heavily criticized public school finance system. House Bill 30 would allow the state to increase its share of public education funding and enable school districts to provide higher quality education.