Over the years, more than a dozen local retirement systems have petitioned the Legislature to have certain plan elements codified into state law, such as contribution rates, benefit levels, and the composition of their board of trustees. By establishing these provisions in state law, these systems have effectively put Austin between themselves and the communities they serve since, in many cases, substantive policy changes need to be approved by the Legislature. Locking out community stakehold- ers while locking in the status quo has been a negative for the fiscal position of these plans. As of June 2015, Texas’ state-governed systems had accumulated $7.4 billion in unfunded liabilities and eight of the 13 systems’ amortization periods were beyond the “recommended” guidelines.