Senate committee takes up new Dallas pension bill

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After two years of back and forth over the failing Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund, there is now a compromise that all sides support.

The politicians call it a landmark agreement, but 10,000 police and fire personnel will be the ultimate judges of that.

At the state capital on Thursday, things went from being very close to having no bill at all to suddenly having a bill that Mayor Mike Rawlings, the pension board and police and fire all supported.

“You have stated that the house bill is a taxpayer bailout. How is this bill different?” FOX 4 Reporter Lori Brown asked Mayor Rawlings.

“It is different because taxpayers have governance now,” he said. “And with a two-thirds hurdle to reduce benefits, I think governance is in the right place. Taxpayers have ownership.”

The bill requires an additional 13 million from the city for seven years. After that, the pension review board will have to ok changes to the city's funding plan.

The mayor gets to appoint six people to the pension board. Police and fire get to appoint five. But cuts in benefits will require a super majority of eight votes.

The bill must now be approved by the full senate and house and signed by the governor. But it looks like that will all happen easily now with so many formerly opposed people all standing in agreeance.

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