By Hilderbran                                        H.C.R. No. 247
         77R12652 ELG-D                           
                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
 1-1           WHEREAS, Social security is the foundation for retirement
 1-2     income for millions of American workers and their families;
 1-3     two-thirds of older Americans rely on social security for 50
 1-4     percent or more of their total income, and 30 percent rely on it
 1-5     for 90 percent or more; and
 1-6           WHEREAS, As many as 80 percent of Texas' teachers are not
 1-7     covered by social security, and thus rely on government pensions to
 1-8     provide for their retirement; however, when they retire, many of
 1-9     these teachers are subject to a particularly onerous social
1-10     security provision called the Government Pension Offset (GPO),
1-11     which harshly and unfairly penalizes recipients of public pensions;
1-12     and
1-13           WHEREAS, The GPO has the effect of reducing or, in many
1-14     cases, eliminating the social security benefit for approximately
1-15     300,000 spouses, widows, or widowers who also receive a pension
1-16     based on their own work for federal, state, or local government
1-17     entities not covered by social security; and
1-18           WHEREAS, This punitive and inequitable provision targets
1-19     thousands of teachers because it applies only to recipients of
1-20     public pensions; recipients of private-sector pension benefits are
1-21     not subject to the same penalty; and
1-22           WHEREAS, The GPO most frequently and drastically affects
1-23     low-income widows, many of whom are retired teachers, causing many
1-24     to live near, or even below, the poverty level; no retired teachers
 2-1     should have to live out their retirement years in poverty; and
 2-2           WHEREAS, Although the GPO was intended to curtail the payment
 2-3     of windfall benefits to highly paid government employees, it has
 2-4     had and continues to have devastating and unintended consequences
 2-5     for retired teachers; the GPO as applied to this group is
 2-6     unreasonable, arbitrary, and unjust; now, therefore, be it
 2-7           RESOLVED, That the 77th Legislature of the State of Texas
 2-8     hereby respectfully urge the Congress of the United States to
 2-9     repeal the Government Pension Offset provision of the Social
2-10     Security Act; and, be it further
2-11           RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
2-12     copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
2-13     the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of
2-14     the senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of
2-15     the Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this
2-16     resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a
2-17     memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.