Bill Text: TX HCR19 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Enrolled

Bill Title: Urging Congress to repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision of the Social Security Act.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 16-6)

Status: (Passed) 2019-05-27 - Signed by the Governor [HCR19 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HCR19-Enrolled.html
  H.C.R. No. 19
         WHEREAS, Social Security is the foundation for retirement
  income for tens of millions of American workers and their families;
  nearly two-thirds of the older Americans who receive program
  benefits rely on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their
  total income, and one-third rely on it for 90 percent or more; among
  beneficiaries aged 80 and older, 42 percent rely on Social Security
  for nearly all of their income; and
         WHEREAS, Two Social Security provisions, however, the
  Government Pension Offset (GPO), enacted in 1977, and the Windfall
  Elimination Provision (WEP), enacted in 1983, severely and unfairly
  penalize recipients of public pensions; and
         WHEREAS, The GPO effectively prohibits some government
  retirees from collecting both their own pension and full Social
  Security benefits as a surviving spouse; an estimated 9 out of 10
  public employees affected by the GPO lose their entire spousal
  benefit, even though their spouses paid Social Security taxes for
  many years; and
         WHEREAS, The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit for
  public employees who did not participate in Social Security while
  working for the government, but who at some time in their careers
  were in jobs where they paid Social Security taxes for the period
  required to qualify for retirement benefits; the WEP can deprive a
  retiree of nearly $450 a month in Social Security benefits duly
  earned by that individual; and
         WHEREAS, Although these provisions were intended to curtail
  the payment of windfall benefits to highly paid government
  employees, in practice they have had and continue to have
  devastating consequences for low-income employees who worked for
  many years as public servants; more than two million government
  employees and retirees are affected by either the GPO or the WEP or
  both, and the repercussions are felt most acutely in Texas and 14
  other states where a high proportion of public employees
  participate in state or municipal retirement systems that do not
  include Social Security; and
         WHEREAS, These punitive and discriminatory provisions target
  hundreds of thousands of teachers, police officers, firefighters,
  and other public servants; although the vast majority of Texas
  school employees participate in the state's teacher retirement
  system and therefore are not required to and do not participate in
  the Social Security system, many Texas teachers and other public
  school employees nonetheless have earned Social Security benefits
  on their own behalf through other employment, the WEP
  notwithstanding, or would be entitled to spousal Social Security
  benefits based on their spouses' lifetime earnings were it not for
  the GPO penalty; these provisions cause veteran teachers to retire
  prematurely and discourage qualified individuals from entering the
  teaching profession at precisely the time that Texas and the nation
  face a severe shortage of highly qualified educators; and
         WHEREAS, The GPO and WEP as applied to public employees are
  unreasonable and unjust and will cause tens of thousands of
  government retirees to experience a diminished quality of life or
  be forced to return to work to make up for the effects of these
  provisions; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 86th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby respectfully urge the Congress of the United States to
  repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination
  Provision of the Social Security Act; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
  copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
  the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of
  Representatives of the United States Congress, and to all the
  members of the Texas delegation to Congress with the request that
  this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record
  as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.
Herrero Neave
Capriglione Blanco
Clardy Ashby
Bohac Bucy
Burns Canales
Lambert Leman
Lozano Martinez
Metcalf Murr
Shaheen Shine
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.C.R. No. 19 was adopted by the House on April
  12, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 140, Nays 3, 2 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.C.R. No. 19 was adopted by the Senate on May
  15, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________