Updated 8/6/13.The Legislature adjourned on August 5 from the Third Special Session of the 83rd Legislature after passing transportation funding legislation. Even though transportation funding was the only subject on the legislative “call,” other bills were filed, including one pension-related bill, House Bill 19 (Callegari). HB 19 proposed new funding guidelines for certain public retirement systems, which did not include TMRS. This bill was not considered by the Legislature due to limits on the call. The next scheduled Regular Session of the 84th Legislature will convene on the second Tuesday in January, 2015.
Updated 7/1/13. The First Special Session of the Texas Legislature ended on June 26, 2013. The legislature did not consider any pension-related legislation during this special session. On June 26, the Texas Governor called the 83rd Texas Legislature into a second session, which started on July 1. As of this update, pension or retirement issues are not on the call for the second special session.
Updated 6/17/13. The 83rd Regular Legislative Session came to an end on May 27, 2013. That same day, the Governor called a Special Session to take up legislation which “ratifies and adopts the interim redistricting plans ordered by the federal district court as the permanent plans for districts used to elect member of the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate and United States House of Representatives.” The duration of the Special Session is a maximum of 30 days. Three additional topics have been added to the Special Session call, but none of these are pension-related and do not affect TMRS. Regarding the status of bills that passed during the Regular Session, the bill signing period ended on June 16, 2013. See the updated Bill Summary at right for the final status of legislation affecting TMRS.
On February 11, the Committee held its first meeting and was provided with overviews of the four statewide pension systems, including TMRS (read presentation), the Pension Review Board, and the Fire Fighters Pension Commissioner. At their meeting on February 18th, the Committee heard testimony on the reports produced during the interim including the benefit design studies of the Employees Retirement System and Teacher Retirement System, and other reports from the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Pension Review Board, and Sunset Advisory Commission. The Senate State Affairs committee has not yet scheduled a hearing.
Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst announced Senate Committee assignments on January 18, 2013. Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus announced House Committee assignments on January 31, 2013. TMRS’ primary oversight committees are the Senate State Affairs Committee and the House Pensions Committee. The House voted this session to split the Pensions, Investments & Financial Services Committee into two separate committees. The Senate State Affairs Committee will again be chaired by Senator Robert Duncan (Lubbock). The House Pensions Committee will be chaired by Representative Bill Callegari (Houston). Legislation affecting TMRS typically is referred to these two committees for hearings and to receive public input. However, some bills may be referred to other committees, depending on the bill content. The schedules for upcoming Senate hearings and for upcoming House hearings are posted and regularly updated on the web.
The Texas Legislature convened for the 83rd Regular Legislative Session on January 8, 2013. Regular sessions occur in each odd-numbered year for 140 calendar days. A calendar of session milestones is available on the Texas Legislative Council's website.
The Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives each has its own operating rules and deadlines for addressing legislation (bills) filed by its members. Each chamber uses committees made up of its membership to hear and process legislation. The committees with jurisdiction over TMRS are the Senate State Affairs Committee and the House Pensions Committee.
The TMRS Board decided not to pursue or endorse any legislative changes for the 83rd Session. The Board action was taken at the September 21st Board Meeting. The TMRS Advisory Committee on Retirement Matters, which met five times during the interim and studied a variety of proposed plan changes, declined to suggest any legislative proposals for consideration.
The House Pensions, Investments & Financial Services Committee held a hearing on September 12th and 13th to hear testimony on their interim charges related to state and local pension systems. This included the charge pertaining to examining plan changes to the Texas Municipal Retirement System and the Texas County and District Retirement System. Executive Director David Gavia testified on behalf of TMRS (view presentation). The Committee’s interim report is expected to be released later this year.
The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, the Honorable Joe Straus, released interim committee study charges for the Texas House on October 20, 2011. House standing committees are to study these issues and report back to the Texas Legislature prior to the 83rd Regular Session which starts in January, 2013. Included in these charges is a study topic to the House Pensions, Investments, & Financial Services Committee to, “Review the Texas County and District Retirement System and the Texas Municipal Retirement System and examine plan provisions offered to individual participating counties and cities.”
The Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable David Dewhurst, has issued interim charges for the committees in the Texas Senate. These charges issued are available here. None of the study topics issued directly impact TMRS.