HOUSTON (AP) – Houston’s mayor says the city won’t have to lay off workers to pay for firefighters’ pay parity with city police officers that voters had approved but a judge has now struck down. A judge on Wednesday ruled as unconstitutional a ballot measure voters approved in November. The city and the firefighters’ union have been in a contentious battle for months over the measure’s implementation. Mayor Sylvester Turner had said 220 firefighters as well as other city workers would need to be laid off to pay for the measure, which Turner had indicated would cost nearly $80 million annually. Turner says he looks forward to negotiating a firefighter pay raise the city can afford. In a statement, the firefighters’ union said it would appeal the ruling.