AUSTIN (AP) – A state district judge in Austin has rejected a lawsuit that sought to discover how much retired lawmakers as a group are collecting in state pensions.

Judge Lora Livington says the amounts can be withheld because lawmakers have passed laws to keep the information secret.

The ruling Tuesday came in a suit filed by a government watchdog group, Texans for Public Justice. The suit sought the total cost of retirement benefits covering 103 former legislators who now are lobbyists.

The group’s executive director, Craig McDonald, tells the Austin American-Statesman the ruling is “absolutely outrageous” and says he’s considering an appeal. Attorneys for the group contend while individual benefits may be confidential, a cumulative amount covering all 103 former lawmakers is not.

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