WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — You may have seen the signs driving down neighborhood roads: signs seeking a ‘Yes’ vote on Proposition 9.
Texas retired teachers haven’t had an adjustment to the cost of living since 2002.
After a record surplus in the state budget this past year, voters can give retired school employees a much-needed adjustment if Prop 9 is approved.
Not only that, $3.3 billion from the General Revenue Fund could be added.
The Texas Retired Teachers Association wants people to know it’s not just teachers seeing an adjustment, but bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other school employees would also see a positive impact.
“There are 500,000 retired school employees,” District Nine President Vicki Dillard, with the Texas Retired Teachers Association, said.
Despite the high volume of retired employees, only a few bring in enough funds to make ends meet.
“One-third of that 500,000 that make and bring home less than $1,500 a month,” Legislative Chair Dee Palmore of the Association added.
What’s more, 130,000 live on less than $1,000 a month according to Dillard.
On election day, November 7, Texas voters will have a choice to add $3.3 billion to the Retired Teacher Fund, an addition Dillard said won’t cost taxpayers a dime.
“I have not talked to one soul, not one soul, that is against this,” Dillard said, “after they understand there’s no cost to the public.”
If passed, retirees from before 2004 will see a six percent increase, those between 2004 and 2014 will see a four percent increase, and those between 2015 and 2021, a two percent increase.
“There were no ‘no’ votes for this,” Palmore added. “Last session was kind of the, ‘Let’s get it prepped, get it ready,’ and this session it finally got pushed through. I think a tribute to our legislative people in the State of Texas is this was a unanimous vote.”
Meanwhile, the push for a 20-year cost-of-living adjustment for retired school employees now rests at the ballot box.
Early voting begins on Monday, October 23, 2023. For all things election, stay with us on-air or online for up-to-date information.