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Judge dismisses lawsuit questioning Houston’s pension bond referendum

A Texas district court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Houston's 2017 pension bond referendum, the city said in a news release Tuesday.

In December, James Noteware, a former city housing and community development director, sued the city alleging the ballot description for the Nov. 7 pension bond referendum was "materially misleading" and called for a temporary restraining order on the $1.01 billion bond issuance. On Dec. 21, Mr. Noteware's request for a temporary restraining order was denied and the bond issuance was completed.

Houston voters had overwhelmingly approved the bond issuance, which was intended to help reduce the city's $8.2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

On Dec. 22, proceeds from the bond issuance were infused into two of the city's three pension funds — the $3.9 billion Houston Police Officers' Pension System and the $2.3 billion Houston Municipal Employees Pension System. Some $750 million was targeted for the police officers' plan and $250 million for the municipal employees' plan.