Kolkhorst praises teachers for work, receives Legislative Achievement Award From the AARP

 

Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) visited with the Matagorda County Retired Teachers Association last week and praised the work the teachers did in education today’s youth.

Kolkhorst was a special guest to the monthly-retired teacher’s association meeting and came praising also the work done during the past legislature as well.

“I firmly believe this was the best session I have ever been apart of,” Kolkhorst said. “We not only addressed the school reform but I was pleased that we were able to get a 13th check for our retired teachers as well.”

SB 12 ensures the Teacher Retirement System of Texas is actuarially sound and provides for a supplemental payment - known as a “13th check” - in an amount up to $2,000 to retirees who retired on or before Dec. 31, 2018.

Kolkhorst also praised the following legislative successes that aided the state’s retired teachers as well.

Provided $524 million to make TRS actuarially sound;

Provided $589 million for a “13th check” to retirees;

Increased the state’s contribution to TRS from 6.8% to 7.5%;

Provided $230.8 million to guarantee retired teachers’ healthcare premiums do not increase through 2021; and

Ended “balance billing,” which occurs when patients mistakenly believe their medical treatment is covered by insurance when it is not and they’re left paying the remaining balances.

Kolkhorst also has received the Legislative Achievement Award from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) of Texas and its 2.3 million members for her significant and positive impact in the lives of elderly Texans during the 86th legislative session.

Concerns have been raised across the state that some nursing home residents may be receiving antipsychotic medications for without a medical need and often without the resident’s or the resident’s legal representative’s consent. These powerful drugs can pose serious or life-threatening risks when administered to certain residents, especially those with dementia.

To address this problem, Kolkhorst, as Chair of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee worked with AARP to sponsor and pass HB2050 that eliminates the practice of nursing home residents being sedated for the convenience and not medical need. Under this new law, written consent from a nursing home resident or family member must be given prior to the administration of an antipsychotic drug. 

“Elderly Texans and their families deserve to have their voices heard on matters that affect them, and I am honored to receive this prestigious award from the AARP and its many members across our state,” said Kolkhorst. “I will always champion the rights of our seniors and their families and I look forward to continue working those who seek to build a better Texas.”

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