I encourage all Texans to vote for Proposition 9 and support our retired Texas teachers. The approval of this proposition in November will provide a much-needed Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to certain Teacher Retirement System (TRS) members. It has been two decades since our TRS beneficiaries received a COLA, making this proposition long overdue.
If approved by the voters in November, Proposition 9 will establish a permanent COLA to retirement benefits, ensuring that our retired teachers and other school employees receive the financial support they deserve. This significant step forward was made possible with the passage of SB 10 and HJR 2, which I co-authored, during the recent legislative session. These bills not only authorized the proposition but also secured an appropriation of $3.355 billion to fund the COLA.
The impact of this COLA will take effect with the January 2024 annuity payment, providing much-needed relief to retired teachers who have been struggling with the loss of their purchasing power due to inflation. It is important to recognize the sacrifices our educators have made throughout their careers, and it is our duty to ensure their financial security during retirement.
Over the past several years, I have heard countless stories from retired teachers who are living paycheck to paycheck and having to decide between buying their medication or food for their next meal. These devoted public servants have dedicated their lives to shaping the minds of our future generations, and it is only fair that we reciprocate their commitment by supporting Proposition 9.
I would like to express my appreciation to the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) for their unwavering advocacy and tireless work in support of a COLA increase. Specifically, I want to thank Pat Macias from Alice, and Leroy DeHaven from Corpus Christi, both former TRTA Presidents, for their leadership and invaluable contributions. Their commitment to the cause and dedication to improving the lives of retired teachers has been instrumental in making this proposition a reality.
By supporting Proposition 9, we can ensure that our retired teachers and other school employees receive the financial support they deserve and that their sacrifices are recognized. Let us come together as a community and vote in favor of Proposition 9, securing a brighter future for our retired teachers and the generations they have inspired.