AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – A state lawmaker has filed a bill addressing the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.READ MORE: Texas Bill On Increased Police Accountability In Honor Of Botham Jean Signed Into Law
House Pensions Committee Chairman Dan Flynn (R-Van) filed HB 3158 Tuesday.
The bill calls for “a new strong board of trustees” to work out the issues.
“This board will be free of heavy representation of those from elected positions and those without significant business experience,” explained Rep. Flynn’s news release.
The bill calls for the board to be composed of business executives with strong training required in fiduciary duty to save the plan, and “will be informed of the dangers of alternative investments and general board functions such as rule making.”
The goal of the bill is to ensure the Dallas Police and Fire Pension plan is actuarially sound.READ MORE: Feud Between 2 Groups Of Teens Led To Deadly Mass Shooting In Austin, Police Say
“I am very concerned that without this piece of legislation, the Dallas Plan would have the potential to collapse in the very near future. We are continuing to refine the plan with all stakeholders to ensure the end result is the best possible outcome for the City of Dallas, the Pension Plan, the Retirees and the newest recruits to the fire and police force. I want to thank Sam Friar and Kelly Gottschalk at the plan, Mayor Rawlings and the many others who have contributed,” said Chairman Flynn.
Pension plans not actuarially sound, if left uncorrected, have the potential to cause a lot of damage across the state, the news release went on to say.
The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board voted unanimously in February, to back Rep. Flynn’s plan to fix the money-troubled fund instead of a plan advocated by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
After the 9-0 vote, board members said they hope to work with Rep. Flynn to make changes to his plan.
Timing is crucial because the fund could run out of money in about 10 years if major changes aren’t made.
Any solution must be approved by state lawmakers before the legislative session ends in late May.MORE NEWS: North Texas Officer Helps Wrangle Snake From Inside Man's Car At Shopping Center
For weeks now, the city and the pension fund board have met to try to come to terms on a long-term fix, including Valentine’s Day, but so far, they haven’t been successful in reaching a consensus.