Bills to Watch During the 85th Legislature

The following bills of note have been filed and would affect active and retired state employee benefits or the administration of the Employees Retirement System.

House Bills

HB 1

Appropriations bill

HB 195 (Bernal)

Would require the Group Benefits Program to cover a diagnostic mammogram in the same manner as a screening mammogram.

HB 265 (Hernandez | Flynn)

Would allow one member elected to the ERS Board of Trustees to be a retiree, effective for the elected member position taking office Sept. 1, 2019.

HB 307 (Burrows)

Would require health care facilities and practitioners to disclose prices to patients.

HB 490 (Anderson, Rodney | Davis, Sarah | Howard | Oliverson)

Would require the Group Benefits Program to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for certain people.

HB 1163 (Alonzo)

Would permit peace officers employed by institutions of higher education and public schools to move from TRS to ERS, effective Jan. 1, 2018, and participate in the LECOS Retirement Fund. Would also add certain peace officers employed by the state and correctional officers at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to the LECOS Retirement Fund.

HB 1014 (Alonzo)

Allows a member elected to the ERS Board of Trustees to be a retiree, with a limit of one retiree. Effective for the elected member position taking office Sept. 1, 2019.

HB 1194 (Blanco)

Amends Chapter 1552, Insurance Code, to allow ERS to provide long-term care insurance that is not group insurance.

HB 1283 (Geren)

Omnibus ethics reform bill.

HB 1296 (Frullo | Oliverson)

Would require the Group Benefits Program to cover a partial refill of a prescription drug to allow a participant to synchronize prescription refills to the same date.

HB 1416 (Stephenson)

Would authorize ERS to study pension revenue enhancement strategies, defined as the purchase of life insurance policies held in trust for the retirement system.

HB 1566 (Frullo)

Would add emergency care providers to the list of health care providers who may be required to mediate out-of-network claims for Group Benefits Program participants.

HB 1976 (Sheffield)

Would require ERS and TRS to study a patient-reported outcomes registry for musculoskeletal care.

HB 1994 (Burrows)

Would create a joint interim committee to study health care costs and transparency.

HB 2459 (Flynn)

ERS Sunset bill

Senate Bills

SB 1

Appropriations bill

SB 14 (Taylor, Van | et al)

Omnibus ethics reform bill

SB 55 (Zaffirini)

Would require ERS and TRS to study a patient-reported outcomes registry for musculoskeletal care.

SB 301 (Watson)

ERS Sunset bill

SB 507 (Hancock)

Adds emergency care providers to the list of health care providers who may be required to mediate out-of-network claims for GBP participants.

SB 552 (Kolkhorst)

Would require the Group Benefits Program to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for certain people.

SB 697 (Buckingham | Campbell | Estes | Schwertner)

Would require the Group Benefits Program to cover a partial refill of a prescription drug to allow a participant to synchronize prescription refills to the same date.

SB 935 (Hughes)

Would allow one member elected to the ERS Board of Trustees to be a retiree. Effective for the elected member position taking office Sept. 1, 2019.

SB 936 (Huffman)

Creates a joint interim committee to undertake a study of public retirement systems in Texas, including the Employees Retirement System.

SB 1750 (Bettencourt)

Relates to a study of the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of implementing a hybrid retirement plan for newly hired state employees and teachers.

SB 1751 (Bettencourt)

Would authorize ERS to establish defined contribution plans or hybrid retirement plans to provide retirement benefits to certain employees.

Senate Joint Resolutions

SJR 24 (Taylor, Van)

Proposes a constitutional amendment to appropriate a surplus in the Rainy Day Fund to sources including the ERS trust fund.