Monday, July 31, 2017


By Juan Montoya

Must be election time.

It seems that just about now – after he's announced he wants two more years as the District 37 Texas State Representative to make it 36 years – Rene Oliveira is going mano-a-mano with the bad old Republicans in the legislature to protect teachers.

He says that through his heavy lifting two bills to help teachers and retired teachers were voted out of the House appropriations Committee and were placed on the calendar for consideration by the members.

Under the bills teachers would get a $1,000 pay raise, and scheduled increases for retired teacher health insurance premiums will be reduced.

The price tag of $848 million over two years (the legislative biennium) to pay for the raises and $213 to reduce retired teacher's health insurance premiums would come from the Rainy Day Fund. That's $1.06 billion to be removed from the fund. Both bills would draw from the state’s $10 billion savings account known as the Rainy Day fund.

But there's a catch. Oliveira and the bill's sponsors know damn well that the Republican majority in the House has steadfastly refused to fund any recurring budget outlays from the Rainy Day fund which they see as an emergency fund because the outlays will become part of the permanent expenditures of the state.

In fact, Oliveira had nothing to do with the teacher pay-raise bill one bill and piggybacked on the insurance bill with its author.

House Bill 24 was actually filed by Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, and would raise minimum salaries for teachers, librarians and counselors in statute as well as give them a $1,000 annual raise starting next school year, to the tune of $848 million over the next two years.

The other, HB 20. was field by Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, and would inject $213 million into the Teacher Retirement System of Texas to reduce health insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

But if you read the message on his Facebok page, you would think Oliveira was manning the barricades in defense of teachers and retired teachers. After all, he's been fighting the good fight for 34 years and needs to stay there another two to get 'er done.

"The retired teacher insurance premium bill, of which I am a co-author," he reminds voters in his district, " is a good first step in the right direction, but I want to go further, and hope we can make improvements as the bill moves forward. I'm also hopeful that we might expand the raise beyond teachers, librarians, and counselors."

But he can't do it all himself despite hawking the g=fact that he is the fifth highest ranking House member in seniority, the Dean of the House in the Rio Grande Valley, yes sir.

"Teacher and retired teachers have done a great job letting legislators know how bad things will be if nothing passes," he reminds them. "I hope they continue to contact legislators, especially the conservatives legislators, like Republican senators, who are opposed to spending money out of the Rainy Day Fund."

In other words, neither one of the bills has a chance in hell of passing this session, depite his vaunted seniority.

The Senate, which has passed its version of a bill to give teachers bonuses as well as to boost the teacher retirement system, has indicated it is unwilling to use the rainy day fund. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said using the fund is not a permanent solution.

And while we're at it, despite being two of the oldest codgers in the House, neither Oliveira nor his fellow Senior Citizen in the Senate Eddie Lucio Jr., could do nothing to stop the Republican Juggernaut from juggling the budget and giving teachers and retired teachers the double whammy.

The Senate’s $405 million proposal is paid for by delaying payments to Medicaid managed care organizations in the upcoming two-year budget cycle until the following biennium.

Similar to Senate Bill 19, HB 20 would cut in half expected deductibles for teacher retirees under the age of 65, to $1,500, and lower premiums for retirees over 65 and their spouses by $100 to $490, among other reductions. The bills are meant to curb the rising costs that are scheduled to go into effect in January after lawmakers made some changes to the plans during the regular legislative session that ended in May.

Lawmakers increased costs to retirees to partially plug a $1 billion funding hole in the retirement system expected for the 2018-2019 biennium, but even with SB 19 or HB 20, the retirement system is expected to see a $500 million to $700 million funding shortfall in the 2020-2021 biennium.

Realistically, then, Oliveira's claims are meant to give false hopes and dangle the carrot before the eyes of teachers and retired teaches in his district by making it appear that despite his Herculean efforts, those mean old Republicans thwarted his hope and desire to help them out.

Ah, but if you give him two more years...


Anonymous said...

Go, Rene! He's better than any "greenhorn" who would replace him. No power then! But the Mexicans are too dumb to see that!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oliveira is an arrogant DICK! He is taking care of himself and continue to use the teachers and their votes to keep his philandering and partying going. Rene Oliveira does not serve anyone in his district well....just sells his vote to the highest bidder. An election is coming next year and Rene is hailing himself...when he has done nothing for teachers of other citizens. VOTE NO to Rene....send him home to Captain Boob's ex-wive....they deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

He dangles carrots in front of voters, women, and lobbyists for votes, sex, and money

Anonymous said...

Oh he has all the power - except he doesn't due shit with it to benefit us.

I prefer a greenhorn with balls over this "powerful" but useless rep.

Anonymous said...

Rene Oliveira is no good. This will be historic election. The time has arrived to stop his public service. Look at his district compared to thriving districts elsewhere in Rio Grande Valley

Anonymous said...

Say no to Rene Oliveira say no to lobbyist influence say nonto blackmlobbyist cadillac say nonto corruption do not vote for Oliveira. He is nongood

Anonymous said...

No more Oliveira folks. Only he makes money given to him by lobbyists for his vote. We all struggle

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh he has all the power - except he doesn't due shit with it to benefit us.

I prefer a greenhorn with balls over this "powerful" but useless rep.

July 31, 2017 at 5:21 PM

I support your opinion 100%. I don't know you, you don't know me, but I am also a REGISTERED INDEPENDENT VOTER and a Cameron County resident.
I know for a fact (I've been in meetings where he talks to retired teachers)that he and Lucio talk to people as if they are doing it all up in Austin for the poor residents down here. The way they approach the people in the audience you would think they are supreme angels in a mission given to them by the Lord. I would like for ANY supporter of Oliveira and Lucio to copy paste at least 3 laws, house bills,senate bills that they started, submitted and have passed during the last 8 yrs in relation to EDUCATION, ASSISTANCE TO THE ELDERLY, RETIRED TEACHERS, COLONIA IMPROVEMENTS. DO NOT confuse aid to the area that is given by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to the state. I am talking about ACTUAL LAWS, House and Senate Bills. FORGET the pony ride to someone else's bill or law. WHAT HAVE THEY INTRODUCED AND PASSED.? Yet, they are still there.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I know the inside people in Rene Oliveiras Brownsville office. It is a relaxing no stress party and money spending daily. Restaurant lunches for all, private trainers, munchies, water , and free sodas all day. Come and go as you please. Helk, this week Oliveira skipped to Vegas and Brownsville workers took the week off. Our district has been unattended to as Rene plays in Vegas plus people in Austin say he is usually not even at his desk as other legislatures are going over bills. He arrives to his Austin office at 10 or 11 am and the session has been on since 8 am. In other words he has record absent numbers. Our district is not getting the attention we deserve in Austin due to his behavior and concern for himself. Rene Oliveira has made a cash cow for himself and the workers in his Brownsville office.

Anonymous said...

This HORN DOG has to go!! Damn ol' perverted DRUNK needs to stay out of the bars!!!!!!!!