Dallas Mayor Rejects Pension Bill; Back to Drawing Board?

Texas officials, both in the statehouse and in Dallas’ mayoral office, are weighing how to address the severe underfunding of the city’s public safety pension system.

So far, it seems the only thing they can agree on is that the latest proposed bill – one that suggests increasing city contributions and giving more board positions to city employees, among other things — stinks.

From the Dallas Observer:

As amended by the committee, [Texas State Representative Dan] Flynn’s bill would take control of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System’s board out of the hands of the city and hand it to retired police and firefighters. As written by Flynn, the bill would’ve given city employees a clear majority of spots on the board. The committee version of the bill gives the city five seats, police and firefighters five seats and allocates one seat on the board to be chosen by consent of both groups.

[Dallas Mayor] Rawlings said that taking control of the fund away from the city will make it vulnerable to the types of risky investing that have led to the current threats against the DPFP’s solvency.

[…]

The mayors also criticized the financial component of Flynn’s bill, which would require the city to make escalating payments to help the fund based on proposed new officer hires by the Dallas Police Department, regardless of whether or not the department actually hires the new officers, eventually increasing the city’s annual contribution from 27.5 percent of DPFP members’ annual salaries to 34.5 percent. Rawlings called the bill a “taxpayer bailout” of the fund.

The bill is still a ways away from getting a vote in the Texas House.

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