Houston Firefighters’ Union Claims City Is Refusing to Verify Petition for Equal Pay (Houston Press):
The April petition that’s apparently standing in the way of the firefighters’ equal-pay initiative is problematic for several reasons, Lancton claims. The petition was filed by the outside political group Texans For Local Control — which is based in Austin, according to campaign finance records — and it pushes for 401(k)-style pension reform. The problem with that, argues former city attorney David Feldman, who now represents the firefighters union, is that the Legislature already passed Mayor Turner’s pension-reform solution during the regular session, thus making this petition moot.
Feldman said the state, not city governments, has the final say on pension policies — which makes it highly unlikely that even if Texans for Local Control’s petition was verified by August 21, placed on the ballot and approved by voters, it would even matter much. That’s because the Legislature would then need to tackle Houston pension reform all over again after this year’s long slog working with Turner and the city to address it.