Senate Finance Committee Hears Overview of Pension Review Board's Budget

The Senate Committee on Finance met on Jan. 30, 2023, to discuss Senate Bill 1, the Senate budget proposal, and to hear presentations from the Legislative Budget Board and Article 1 agencies. It was necessary to reschedule the hearing due to inclement weather; however, the Texas Pension Review Board made its presentation. 

Note: TEXPERS, along with the Association's Legislative Committee and government affairs consultant, is monitoring the sessions, especially for any actions regarding public employee pensions. This post provides an overview and highlights the various topics impacting local pensions. It's not a verbatim transcript of the conversation but based on what was heard and understood by observers and TEXPERS' desire to get details out as quickly as possible without making mistakes.

Senate Bill 1 is a $288.7 billion base budget.  

Pension Review Board Agency

Legislative Budget Board Presentation on the Pension Review Board

John Posey, Legislative Budget Board Senior Analyst:

  1. $2.4 million over the biennium, a little lower than base, FTE cap continued at 13 FTEs.
  2. There was a $600,000 reduction due to IT funding in the supplemental bill from the last session.
  3. The agency has requested a two-year extension of its one-time IT funding; the agency states that contracting issues have delayed projects; the database transfer should be complete in 2023, and work on the portal should begin in summer 2023.
  4. Exceptional items include salary increases.

Pension Review Board Agency Budget Overview

Stephanie Leibe, PRB Chair:

  1. Provided an overview of PRB operations.
  2. The staff has made significant progress in rebuilding the internal database. It is in the process of launching a new main website.
  3. Exceptional items include an executive director salary increase. Lost the last two executive directors to local retirement systems that can offer much higher salaries.

Amy Cardona, PRB Executive Director:

  1. The PRB has experienced significant turnover and has needed help attracting new applicants due to the inability to stay competitive in salaries.
  2. $131,000 exceptional item to enhance salaries to support recruitment and retention; PRB requires specialized workers.

 The Legislative Budget Board, a joint committee of the state Legislature, develops budget and policy recommendations for legislative appropriations, conducts fiscal analyses of proposed legislation, and reviews state and local operations. 

Access an archive video of the hearing here. A summary of recommendations and presentations from the Senate Finance Committee is available here.


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