House approves health benefits, TRS bills

The House gave final passage to the following bills on Friday:

  • SB 155 by Joan Huffman and John Zerwas, relating to the eligibility of certain school district employees to participate in group health benefit programs.  It provides that an employee whose resignation is effective after the last day of an instructional year is entitled to participate in the uniform group coverage plan through the earlier of: (1) the first anniversary of the date participation was first made available to district employees for the last instructional year; or (2) the last calendar day before the first day of the next instructional year. 
  • SB 419 by Royce West and Diane Patrick, prohibiting state funding to public junior colleges for physical education courses offered for joint high school and junior college credit. 
  • SB 736 by Juan Hinojosa and Dawnna Dukes, allowing a school board to appoint a member from a local domestic violence program to the local school health advisory council.
  • SB 988 by Leticia Van de Putte and Lyle Larson, creating the Cybersecurity, Education, and Economic Development Council. The council will be required to conduct an interim study and make recommendations for improving the infrastructure of the state’s cybersecurity operations. The council will study partnerships among government, business, and institutions of higher education and examine specific actions to accelerate the growth of cybersecurity as an industry in this state. 
  • SB 1410 by Robert Duncan and Diane Patrick, requiring the Texas Education Agency to identify and report the number of students enrolled in tech-prep programs to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 
  • SB 1667 by Robert Duncan and Vicki Truitt, making several changes in the administration of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. They include allowing TRS to obtain certain criminal history records and conduct telephonic board meetings under certain circumstances. The names of applicants for executive director, chief investment officer, or chief audit executive of TRS will be excepted from disclosure under the Public Information Act, except that the TRS board will have to give public notice of the names of three finalists being considered for one of those positions at least 21 days before the date of the meeting at which the final action in choosing a finalist for employment is to be taken. The bill also prohibits anyone convicted of causing the death of a member from receiving the benefits of that member and allows for earlier retirement with a reduced benefit. 
  • SB 1668 by Robert Duncan and Vicki Truitt, relating to purchase of service credit in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. This deals with USERRA credit. 
  • SB 1669 by Robert Duncan and Vicki Truitt, relating to the resumption of service by retirees under the Teacher Retirement System. It revises the retire/rehire program and allows for an annuity payment if the rehire has stayed out of work for 12 months.