Posts Tagged 'State Teachers Pension'

MD General Assembly passes budget in special session

On Wednesday, May 16th, the Maryland General Assembly passed a budget and revenue bill for FY 2013 in a special session. The bill includes an increase in income taxes that will benefit the counties and help offset a 50% push down of the Teacher Pension. For more information, please see the Gazette article.

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MD General Assembly to have special session for budget

On Monday, May 14th, the General Assembly will convene for a special session to discuss and vote on a budget for FY 2013. According to an announcement yesterday from Governor O’Malley, the compromise budget proposal that will be discussed includes $109 million in spending reductions to the $35.9 million budget, as well as an income tax increase and elimination of exemptions that would generate $195.6 million in state revenue.

The plan also includes a shift of 50% of the “normal cost” of teacher pensions, or $136.6 million, to counties starting in FY 2013. This would increase to a 100% shift in FY 2016. The normal cost is the amount required to pay pension liabilities if the system had not been underfunded.

For more information on the budget proposal and the special session, including a video of O’Malley’s announcement, please see the Gazette article.

The General Assembly did not pass a tax bill prior to the conclusion of the legislative session on April 9th. This means that the state is scheduled to automatically go into FY 2013 on July 1st using the “doomsday” budget, which includes a $512 million cut for education, libraries, public safety and other programs. (For more information, see the earlier blog post.) If the General Assembly votes in favor of this new proposal, the state would not implement the “doomsday” budget.

MD Legislative Session ends with “doomsday” budget

The 90-day session of the Maryland General Assembly ended last night and legislators failed to pass a tax bill that would help balance the $36 billion budget. This means that as of July 1st, the “doomsday” budget, which is balanced by more than $500 million in cuts, will go into effect unless something is done. This would not include a shift in pension costs from the state to the local governments, but would cut $512 million for education, libraries, public safety and other programs (approximately a 10% cut to public library funding).

Governor O’Malley could call a special session to work on a plan to increase taxes and limit or eliminate the budget cuts. The Governor has not yet said what he will do.

For more details about the outcome of the legislative session, see these articles:

Budget passed in Senate; moves on to House

The full Senate has passed the budget and it has moved on to the House. It appears that the House and Senate versions of the budget will have major differences, including how revenue will be raised and over how many years to spread the pension push down. The House is expected to finish its work on the budget this weekend. This Gazette article gives an indication of how the budget is taking shape in the House.

Update and History of the State Teacher’s Pension

County officials have begun to respond to the recent revised budget plan passed last week by the Senate Budget & Tax Committee. See this Gazette article for more details.

This editorial by Blair Lee gives a good history of how the state started paying the pension. It also provides a counterpoint to the state’s view.

Senate Committee approves revised budget plan; library and community college exempt from pension push down

With about half of the legislative session remaining, the General Assembly turned its attention to the FY 2013 budget. O’Malley’s proposal included a 50% shift of the retirement costs to the local governments. Earlier this week, the “Doomsday Budget” was released. This report outlines the significant cuts to local and state budgets that would be necessary if legislators do not raise taxes or cut spending.

Yesterday, the Senate Budget & Tax Committee approved a revised budget plan that shifts the cost of teacher pensions to the local school boards and county/local governments in phases over the next four years. This proposal would only apply to public school teachers, and not library or community college employees. The proposal is expected to go before the full Senate next week. For more information on this proposal, see the Gazette article.

Proposed budget to share total retirement costs between state and locals

Governor O’Malley released his FY 2013 proposed budget yesterday. It does include a shift of retirement costs to the local governments. Currently, the state pays all of the costs for teacher pensions (a total of $946 million) and the counties and Baltimore City pay all of the costs for social security. O’Malley’s proposal would combine these two retirement costs and split them 50/50 between the state and the local governments. Although this is still an increase in the costs for local governments, it is not as high as if there a shift of pension costs and no change in social security.

 

At this point, the budget is in the hands of the General Assembly. The General Assembly may take things out of the budget, but not put something in it. This means that they can choose to reduce the costs being pushed down to the local governments; however, to do that and keep the budget balanced they must reduce spending elsewhere. Concern over this push down will be raised at the Maryland Library Legislative Day.



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