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Hundreds of retired teachers from around the state celebrated on the Texas Capitol lawn Wednesday afternoon, eating ice cream with sprinkles under a big, white tent and listening to lawmakers share their excitement at the prospects of passing a pay bump to teachers' monthly benefits.
A short walk away, at a different rally, a shirtless man wore a barrel with suspenders attached to it — a caricature of a cartoon, Depression-era hobo. The barrel showed price comparisons for Spam and cat food between 2023 and 2021 — the last time Texas’ retired state employee pension system received a so-called cost-of-living adjustment.