Near unanimous vote for Mayor's pension plan at city council

- Mayor Turner minced no words Wednesday.

 "Don't dare say you stand with police and fire and people who are picking up your trash and you want to take more benefits from them," said Mayor Turner.

After months of rallying for city council members to come together the rallying worked.

In a nearly unanimous decision, 16-1, city council passed  Mayor Sylvester Turner's signature pension reform plan Wednesday morning.

"I represent the people of the city of Houston and the pension issue has been holding this city back for a long time," said Mayor Turner.

It has been 15 years. Many of which, Turner spent in the state legislature, well aware of Houston's $8 billion pension crisis. Turner is the first mayor able to unite all three pension systems and city council, before sending a pension reform bill to the state legislature. If the state legislature passes the reform bill, it will be a campaign promise fulfilled by Mayor Turner.

Opponents of the plan were hoping for pension reform that would give city workers plans similar to 401ks. All but one city council member signed off.

"Without viewing the actual proposed legislation, I cannot offer my support for something that does not yet exist," said Councilmen Mike Knox. 

But Turner says the framework does exist and includes reducing the city’s nearly $8 billion dollar pension debt by over 30 percent through a 30-year fixed payoff schedule, like a mortgage on a house.

Turner says his plan will do it, without raising taxes.

Now the real test comes in January, when the plan is packaged into a bill and shipped off to the state legislature in Austin for a vote.
 

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