Judge lifts order blocking Houston firefighter pay measure
By JUAN A. LOZANO
HOUSTON (AP) - A judge has lifted a court order blocking the implementation of a new charter amendment that would give Houston's firefighters pay parity with city police officers, but which Houston's mayor says would cost the city up to $100 million and result in hundreds of layoffs.
Tuesday's ruling is in connection with a lawsuit by Houston's police officers' union that claims the amendment is unconstitutional and invalid.
The measure was approved by Houston voters last month. The firefighters' union says its members are woefully underpaid compared with Houston police and other U.S. fire departments.
In his ruling, state District Judge Randy Wilson says while he's sensitive to budget difficulties the amendment will create, "Houston voters decided they would rather have pay parity."
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