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"The Legislature is aware of legal means by which to provide additional benefits to retirees," Abbott wrote. "It conspicuously failed to utilize such approaches during the 81st legislative session.".

The budget initially approved by the House of Representatives included a $1,000 one time Nike Hats Mens

The additional money, however, will not be enough to bring either fund to the level at which it is able to cover its current and projected obligations within a 31 year period. That threshold is required before the funds may increase benefit payments.

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"We knew that this was not a done deal," Hamilton said.

But the payment was contingent upon a ruling from Attorney General Greg Abbott that such a payment was legal and constitutional.

will begin in 2011.

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payment to retirees; the Senate version had none.

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The $155 million will now be distributed to the two trust funds, effectively increasing the state's New Era Hats Cheap contribution to the retirement systems.

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The Retired State Employees Association cannot quarrel with the attorney general's finding because the Legislature set such a high legal hurdle, said Bill Hamilton, incoming president of the organization.

Several retiree groups said they were disappointed with the ruling and would continue to fight for additional help for retirees in the next legislative session, which Detroit Tigers Caps

But senators questioned whether that unusual funding approach would run afoul of a constitutional provision that prohibits extra compensation.

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"It's almost like the Legislature wrote (the bill) in a way to help get the end result that maybe the Texas Senate wanted all Nike Hat Models

Six months ago, the Legislature set aside $155 million to give the one time payment to retired members of the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Retired state workers and teachers cannot be given an extra $500 check from the state this year, the Texas attorney general ruled in a long awaited opinion issued Monday.

The compromise $500 payment was to be made using general state revenue rather than money from the trust funds, which is the normal route for providing additional benefits.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, R Bryan, was not available for comment Monday, an aide said.

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"The short answer to this question is 'yes,' " Abbott wrote in the opinion.

That made it impossible to find in favor of making the payments, the opinion says.

But the Legislature created an "unusual and virtually insurmountable legal standard for making the proposed payment by requiring that this office issue a 'conclusive opinion' that such one time payments are constitutionally and statutorily permissible," he wrote.

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500 extra check for retired teachers

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"I don't think that is going to be much comfort to these . state retirees. These people need this money in their hands. They are hurting; they are really hurting," said Caryl Yontz of the Texas Retired Public Employee Council, which is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The attorney general puts the responsibility for denying retirees the payment right back on the Legislature.

along," Lee said.

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