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Submitted By: Mark CebulskiSubmitted: 3/13/2015
We would like to thank the House Appropriations Committee--in particular, Chair John Otto and Vice-Chair Sylvester Turner--and the House Pensions Committee and Chair Dan Flynn in devising a reasonable solution to the oncoming crisis in the Employees Retirement System (ERS) pension fund, which pays its retirees a monthly average of about $1900. It would ensure that the fund would become actuarially sound and create a path to pay off a staggering unfunded liability without adversely affecting the take-home pay of present-day public employees. We echo Mr. Otto's hope that the Texas State Senate join with the committees in wisely using extra available funds to pay down an enormous debt of $7.5 billion. It would also pave the way for a reasonable raise in retirees' pensions, which has not been addressed in 15 years. The public employees who have ERS pensions--into which they contributed throughout their careers--served the state well and took care of Texas. They ask only that Texas fulfills the promise it made to take care of them in a financially stable way. No retirees will get rich by their pensions, but 96% of the money they receive is normally spent right here in Texas. That economic handshake can only be good for this state. Sincerely, Mark Cebulski Executive Director AFSCME Texas Retirees 1812 Centre Creek Dr., Suite 310 Austin, TX 78754 800-221-9181

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