- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston leaders are backing a package of pension reforms promoted by Mayor Sylvester Turner that seeks to resolve a 15-year crisis that’s contributed to recent credit downgrades and severe strains on the city budget.

The city council on Wednesday voted in favor of measures to shore up pension plans for police, firefighters and municipal workers. Boards for the three groups previously agreed to benefit cuts.

The Houston Chronicle reports Wednesday’s vote was not legally required but was held to show the council’s support as the matter now moves to the Texas Legislature for approval.

The reforms are meant to end pension underfunding in 30 years and eliminate more than $2.5 billion in future costs by reducing benefits.

Officials also would issue $1 billion in bonds to help close funding gaps.

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