Gov. Greg Abbott recently appointed Josh McGee, a vice-president at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, to the State Pension Review Board and named McGee as its chairman. The Arnold Foundation has for years focused on public pension reform and research regarding alternatives to traditional pension plans.

The Pension Review Board is an oversight agency and does not have direct control over how the state’s public retirement plans are structured, but the appointment of McGee could be viewed as a signal of Abbott’s position on the issue, and McGee will be in a key position to advocate for change. The appointment will be subject to Senate confirmation when the Legislature next meets (the regular session will begin in January 2017), and at least one major association representing law enforcement, whose local pension plans have been a favorite target of the Arnold Foundation – has already begun calling for his removal.