Thursday, August 3, 2017


"Oliveira is a joint author of H.B. 80 and a co-author of H.B. 20. Both bill were reported engrossed on Tuesday, Aug. 2. They now head to the Texas Senate for consideration..." Rene Oliveira's Austin Office

HB 20 Author: Ashby | Darby | VanDeaver | Zerwas | Howard

Co-Authors: Alonzo | Anderson, Rodney | Arévalo | Bailes | Bell | Bonnen, Dennis | Burns | Burrows | Button | Canales | Clardy | Cook | Cosper | Fallon | Flynn | Frullo | Geren | Giddings | Goldman | Gooden | Guerra | Guillen | Hernandez | Herrero | Holland | Huberty | Kacal | Keough | Koop | Kuempel | Lambert | Landgraf | Laubenberg | Longoria | Lozano | Martinez, "Mando" | Miller | Minjarez | Murr | Neave | Oliveira | Oliverson | Ortega | Paddie | Phillips | Price | Raney | Reynolds | Roberts | Rodriguez, Justin | Schubert | Sheffield | Shine | Springer | Stucky | Thierry | Thompson, Ed | Uresti, Tomas | Villalba | Wray

HB 80: Author: Darby | Guillen | Oliveira | Guerra

Co-Authors: Alonzo | Bonnen, Dennis | Canales | Dean | Flynn | Frullo | Geren | Herrero | Kacal | Lambert | Lozano | Martinez, "Mando" | Miller | Ortega | Phillips | Reynolds | VanDeaver | Wray

By Juan Montoya
We stand corrected.

District 37 Texas State Representative Rene Oliveira did make the House marquee as a co-author of HB 20, a bill authored by Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, to appropriate a one-time boost of money to decrease retired teachers' health insurance costs.

Maybe the reason we didn't spot his name at first was because there were another 59 other "co-authors" on the list.

And he is also listed as one of three "joint" authors with Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, on HB 80, a similar bill calling for a cost-of-living adjustment applicable to certain benefits paid by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Whatever you may think of the posturing by Oliveira, one thing remains clear: It is doubtful that the Senate will go along with the raiding of the state's $10 billion Rainy Day Fund to throw the money to bail out retired teachers as their premiums rise.

The Texas Tribune puts it this way: "The House and Senate are trying to agree on how to pump $212 million into an unfunded health insurance program for more than 1 million retired teachers in the state.

• The skinny: During the regular session in spring, state lawmakers boosted funding for the Teacher Retirement System's health care program by more than $450 million over the next two years. But legislators also altered the structure of the system to dial back benefits in order to keep the program afloat. That meant higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs – especially for retired teachers younger than 65 – which are set to go into effect in January 2018.

• Two chambers, two different approaches: As of Tuesday, both the House and Senate had voted out legislation to put $212 million into the system to make TRS-CARE health insurance more affordable for retired teachers. The money would be a one-time transaction, intended to temporarily bolster a state-run program that's been teetering for years. But here's the catch: The chambers want to take the money from different areas in the budget, and for some – especially those in need of insurance to cover expensive medicine – even $212 million isn't enough.

And... (the political fallout as members up for re-election – as is Rene – posture for the March 2018 primaries):

• The House backs a bill that would pull money from the state's Rainy day Fund, which is largely fed by taxes on oil and gas production, while the Senate wants to use an accounting maneuver in another part of the budget –  think of it as a state credit card – and make up the difference later.

The lower chamber says the Senate's move isn't "fiscally prudent to do," and the upper chamber thinks the House's approach is essentially a "false promise" for long-lasting relief.

• March primaries, here we come, is what teachers are now saying. A group that's dealt with an education-intensive regular session and is now living it again with the special session says they'll take their frustrations to the voting booths when election season rolls around.

One educator in New Braunfels ISD has already started a petition demanding Gov. Greg Abbott and state officials prioritize affordable state health care for current and retired teachers. The petition, which started last Saturday, now has more than 50,000 signatures. If frustration among teachers continues and the movement grows, could the group influence the next election cycle?"

That's why Oliveira is falling over himself trying to show retired teachers he is their paladin in Austin despite the fact that it appears that retired teachers will take a hit regardless of his re-election claim that he is the fifth-ranking" member in seniority in the House. What good did it do them?

But while Oliveira may get lost in the forest because of the other trees, there is no missing his looming presence in extravagance with his campaign war chest. We've detailed how he lives big off the six-figure amount donated to him by large donors and Political Action Committees (PAC) who give him big dollars to protect their interests.

He also ranks fifth (out of 150 representatives) in living high off the hog and splurging in wine and women, and (we've never heard him do karaoke so we couldn't tell it there is "song" at the end of that.)

When you see him at Cobbleheads wallowing in the libations, tell him you want a down payment on your vote, too. 


Anonymous said...

You're naïve, Juan. The days of one legislator writing a bill and seeing it pass died a few decades ago. Do a little studying next time.

Anonymous said...

Oliveira knows that the bills he promotes here at home, such as the raise for teachers, will not be supported or passed in Austin. Rene is a DICK! Rene sells his vote to special interests....and puts those special interests ahead of our local citizens. He pretends to support the teachers here, but he only really cares about himself. If teachers support Rene, then they are gullible or just dumb. SAY NO to RENE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Time for this frog looking lobbyist puppet to go.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can see our chubby, sex-crazed bon-vivant rep as a "joint author" of legislation, inasmuch as he probably smoked a joint prior to signing off on the bill!

Anonymous said...

Rene is a sweaty pig. He is a great example of what we don't want from our elected officials...corrupt, self-serving and using his position to lie to his constituents. Teachers are a big voting group here and his promises to them have never materialized. Just say NO to Rene!!!