The House Appropriations Committee met Tuesday to hear several pro-teacher bills. One would provide a $1,000 teacher pay raise funded by a draw from the Rainy Day Fund; others would tap the fund (projected to be in excess of $11 billion) for TRS-Care assistance.

TCTA testified in favor of HB 24 by Rep. Drew Darby, which would use an appropriation from the Rainy Day Fund to provide a $1,000 per teacher pass-through pay raise beginning with the 2017-18 school year. 

TCTA also supported three bills that would use varying amounts of funding (ranging from a $100 million proposal by Darby to a $1 billion bill from Rep. Lance Gooden) to help reduce insurance costs for retired school employees. The most likely legislation to move forward is HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby, which uses approximately the same $212 million approved by the Senate in SB 19 but funds it from the Rainy Day Fund instead of through a delayed payment as in the Senate bill. The funding is expected to reduce the deductible for pre-65 retirees from $3,000 to $1,500 and lower premiums for spouse and dependent coverage.

TCTA also supported HB 80 by Darby, which would provide a cost-of-living adjustment for retirees who retired between Sep. 1, 2004, and Aug. 31, 2015. The increase would begin with the December 2017 payment and would be the lesser of three percent or $100 per month.

The committee did not vote on the bills. UPDATE: The committee passed three of the bills Thursday: HB 24, HB 20, and HB 80.