Last month, we ran a lead story on Proposition B, the confusing measure Houston voters approved in November to give raises to firefighters to align their pay with Houston police officers.
As of early May, Houston was sending out layoff notices to firefighters and other city workers and sending checks with raises and backpay bonuses to Jan. 1 to the Houston firefighters who remained. As it turns out, however, all that might be for naught.
On May 15, District 157 Harris County Judge Tonya Garrison ruled Proposition B unconstitutional, saying it violates Texas Constitution’s rules surrounding city ordinances and is pre-empted by the Texas Local Government Code’s meet-and-confer rules for police and fire departments.
If the ruling sticks, it’s possible the last more than half-year of debate over this topic was for nothing, but it’s unclear what’s next. The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association is already planning to appeal the decision.