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Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
 
Senator Jane Nelson: District 12
[SENATE SEAL]
February 5, 2015
Contact: Megan Hanson
512-463-0112
TODAY IN FINANCE

On the agenda: Article I

  • Veterans Commission
  • Employee Retirement System (ERS)
  • Pension Review Board
  • Texas Emergency Services Retirement System
  • State Preservation Board

For the full agenda, please view the posting online

Highlights:

  • Veterans Commission
    • SB 2 includes an increase of $32.9M for the Veterans Commission of which $30M is to reimburse higher education institutions for a share of the costs of the Hazelwood Exemption Legacy Program. This is on top of $24.2M given directly to the institutions out of a permanent fund for veteran's exemptions.
    • SB 2 includes $34.3M for mental health services specifically for veterans. That includes $3M at the Veterans Commission; $20M at the Health and Human Services Commission for the Texas Veterans Initiative; $10M for peer-to-peer counseling at the Department of State Health Services; and funding for two additional mental health counselors at the Texas Military Department. The Veterans Commission is also included in the list of agencies required to work together to develop a strategic plan for coordinating all mental health services in Texas, giving the Commission and the veterans it supports an important seat at the table.
    • Statement from Senator Nelson: "Texas supports our veterans. I am troubled by the problems our veterans are having accessing services at the federal level, and I want our budget to reflect our state's commitment to helping those who have sacrificed so much for our country."
  • Employee Retirement System
    • SB 2 increases funding by $605.4M in All Funds to cover an increase in health care costs and growth for ERS.
    • Statement from Senator Nelson: "I am immensely grateful for the service of our state employees, and I am committed to ensuring that we are in the best possible financial position to provide for their retirement benefits. This session, we will work to address some of the concerns facing our pension funds."

To watch the Senate Finance Committee hearing online, click here.


Senator Jane Nelson
Chair, Senate Finance Committee

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