- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has unanimously approved a bill making sweeping changes to Dallas’ troubled pension systems for police and firefighters.

Actuaries estimated last year that the plans, which then covered about 9,900 members, were only 45 percent funded and could become insolvent in 15 years.

The proposal calls for a series of changes to improve the plan’s balance sheet. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was once a supporter but now calls the bill a “bailout,” saying city taxpayers will be forced to pay $1 billion-plus into the fund.

Its sponsor, Republican Rep. Dan Flynn, notes that police and firefighters will have to pay more into the system while accepting benefits reductions.

Wednesday’s 132-0 vote leaves the measure just a final, largely ceremonial vote away from being sent to the Senate.

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