A Dallas County judge issued a ruling on Friday that clears the way for a crucial vote on the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund.
The order by Judge Ken Molberg lifts the temporary injunction that was preventing pension plan beneficiaries from voting on possible changes to keep the fund afloat. He also concluded the case was filed in the proper jurisdiction and set the case for trial.
The lawsuit claims the pension board is invalid. Plaintiffs’ attorneys said the state constitution only allows the pension board to have seven trustees, not its current makeup of 12.
Pension board attorneys say the board changed its makeup more than 20 years ago, and the plaintiff's never complained about it before.
Plaintiff Attorney Chris Ayres said in a statement that they “agree with the court that a full trial on the board's authority to act and the propriety of its vote can and should be had in March."
The pension is losing money at an alarming rate and could run out if changes are not made. It’s in critical need of cash and was prepared to have members vote on November 14.
The proposed changes included increasing contributions, reducing interest payments and lowering cost of living allowances.
It's not clear if or when the pension board would schedule another vote or if the same criteria would be on the ballot next time. Many have been critical of the vote, saying it doesn't go far enough to fix the failing pension system.
The case is set for trial on March 13, 2017.