The Senate budget plan to shift the cost of teacher pensions to local school boards is reported to face resistance in the House of Delegates. The Washington Post reports that while the proposal may not succeed this year, it may just be a matter of time before the shift does occur.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) praised the move, citing a national study that recently ranked Maryland among the five worst states in the country for underfunding teacher pensions. Miller also said the fix would help halve the state’s projected deficit to about $1.2 billion in future years. “It would be a dereliction of duty if we did not begin to move forward on meaningful pension reform this year,” Miller said.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said that it would be difficult for his chamber to follow suit this year. That’s because Montgomery County lawmakers in the House oppose it, said Brian J. Feldman (D), the county’s House delegation chairman. At a recent budget hearing, House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert) also said his caucus opposes the shift because it would probably lead to local tax increases.
Stay tuned to the MACo blog for updates on this very important issue.