Houston Matters

With a Pension Plan Decided, How Does Houston Sell It to the Legislature?

A couple of weeks ago (Oct. 26, 2016), the Houston City Council passed a resolution of support for Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposal to reform the city’s pensions system. As News 88.7 reported, the deal includes $2.5 billion in benefit reductions, changes to annual cost of living adjustments and increased employee contributions. Mayor Turner says the […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaA couple of weeks ago (Oct. 26, 2016), the Houston City Council passed a resolution of support for Mayor Sylvester Turner's proposal to reform the city's pensions system. As News 88.7 reported, the deal includes $2.5 billion in benefit reductions, changes to annual cost of living adjustments and increased employee contributions. Mayor Turner says the proposal will lower the city's costs, reducing the city's nearly $8 billion in unfunded pension liability by more than 30 percent.

The plan now heads to the Texas Legislature for approval. The legislative session starts in January.

So, today, we examine who needs to buy into the City of Houston's pension plan for its best chances of being approved.

Who are the key state lawmakers to get on board? Who needs to be sold on this plan? Are there any guarantees the state legislature will even consider it? How do you overcome friction in recent years between city and state officials?

We talk with Jack Christie, At-Large Position 5 member of the Houston City Council and chair of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee. And we check in with Bob Stein, political science professor at Rice University.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Share

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

More Information