Week 12: TRA and The READ Act Updates

Modest TRA Changes Advance

Last week, the House passed an omnibus pensions bill, HF 5040, which includes modest changes to various state pension plans, including TRA. With a modest budget target to work with, the legislation builds on last year’s provision moving the full retirement age down to 65. Current law makes that effective July 1, 2025, but HF 5040 would move that effective date up to this July 1, 2024. The legislation extends the freeze on the earnings limitation for another 3 years. The legislation also moves up the TRA full funding date from 2053 to 2048. The Senate needs to pass the bill and get it on the Governor’s desk, along with his signature, in order to become law.

Modest Funding Increase for The READ Act in the Works

The House passed their supplemental budget bill last week, HF 5237. We’re still waiting for the Senate to pass their supplemental Education funding bill, SF 5252, which is scheduled for a vote later today. In the meantime, we’re told negotiations are already underway on how to allocate the two largest pieces of the bill, both relating to the Read Act. The first is a new infusion of what’s looking like $31 million that will go toward teach stipends for their time spend on literacy training. We’re hearing that $36/pupil, with a minimum of $2,000 for the smallest school districts will be allocated. We’re also hearing there will be a requirement that a minimum
of $500/stiped will be mandated in the bill.

The other component is a direct allocation of $35 million for district curriculum costs related to Read Act implementation. We’re told this will go out to school districts at $40/pupil. All of this could change between now and the end of session, but this is the information we have at this time.