Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect what is included in Proposition 9.

As inflation and increases in the cost of daily life further shrink the budgets of those on a fixed income, some retired Texas teachers could see a cost-of-living adjustment based on the outcome of an upcoming election.

In a nutshell

Texas voters will decide on a cost-of-living increase for some retired educators in the Nov. 7 constitutional amendment election. Senate Bill 10 was passed by both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate in May but part of it will not go into effect unless it is approved by voters.

It will appear on the ballot as Proposition 9, one of 14 total. The ballot measure would see educators receive either a 2%, 4% or 6% cost-of-living increase, dependent on the recipient's age and date of retirement.
SB 10 also included a one-time stipend for some retired teachers dependent on their age. This portion of the legislation did not need voter approval and went into effect in May.

What they're saying

Tim Lee, executive director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association, addressed local retirees at a Sept. 8 meeting of the Williamson County Retired Teachers Association. Lee said the measure would be funded by the Teacher Retirement System's investment of funds allocated from the state budget surplus, although it is unclear how much that will be. This means the measure will not rely on a tax increase for funding.

"I think the state of Texas realizes that they really cannot expect people to live on the same retirement benefits that they had 20 years ago," Lee said.

What's next

Lee said the cost-of-living increase leaves out educators who retired after Aug. 31, 2020. Should the cost-of-living adjustment pass in November, it would be a message to legislators that teacher pay and retirement benefits are a priority for Texas voters, he said.

“Having people show up and vote in an overwhelming way for this proposition is going to allow us to go into the next legislative session far more powerful and on a stronger footing than maybe the legislature even thought that it could be,” Lee said.

Early voting for the Nov. 7 election will run from Oct. 23-Nov. 3.