February 11, 2015
Contact: Megan Hanson

On the agenda: Article III

  • Teacher Retirement System (TRS)
  • Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Higher Education Group Insurance
  • Texas State Technical College System

For the full agenda, please view the posting online


  • Teacher Retirement System
    • The TRS pension is actuarially sound, and SB 2 maintains the state's contribution of 6.8% for active member payrolls, as well as funds payroll growth.
    • The Teacher's Retirement System faces a $727M shortfall for increases in health care costs, mainly due to increases in premiums for active teachers.
    • Statement from Senator Nelson: "It is important that we reward our retired educators for their service to our state. We must also recognize that their benefits are factors in our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest teachers."
  • Higher Education Coordinating Board
    • SB 2 includes a $60M increase for expanding graduate medical education towards the goal of a ratio of 1.1 residency slots for every 1 Texas medical school graduate.
    • This would ensure each Texas medical school graduate has a residency slot in Texas, as well as encourage other state's graduates to come to Texas.
    • Each medical student in Texas represents a $168,000 investment that can be lost to other states due to a lack of instate residency slots.
    • The Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2014 estimates that by 2020, if no new additional slots are created, at least 212 medical school graduates will have to leave the state for their first year of residency training and will likely never return. This problem will be exacerbated when the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the University of Texas at Austin Dell medical schools begin graduating medicals students (approximately 2020).
    • Statement from Senator Nelson: "Access to health care depends on access to skilled medical professionals, and we have been working for several sessions to address our health care workforce shortages in Texas. This funding will help us keep our medical school graduates in state, where their services are critically needed."

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

Senator Jane Nelson
Chair, Senate Finance Committee