Cas Taylor on Recommendations: “First Focus” Should be Health Insurance Costs

At today’s meeting of the Montgomery County Delegation of the General Assembly, invited speaker Casper Taylor discussed the interim report of the Public Employees’ and Retirees’ Benefit Sustainability Commission, the body he chairs. That Commission has recommended a series of measures to begin addressing costs of employee benefits, including endorsing a cost shift of teacher pensions to local boards of education.

Among this comments today, Speaker Taylor further elaborated on the several components of the interim report, indicating “it is my hope that you all [the General Assembly] can focus first on health insurance… rather than on pensions.” The Commission’s recommendations include several broad topics, but the most controversial among counties has been the recommended pension shift — projected to shift more than $250 million of costs to locals.

Several Delegation members asked questions about the timing and implications of the pension shift proposal, as well as the causes underlying the state system’s current underfunding. Speaker Taylor engaged in conversation with the Delegates and Senators present, and Delegation Chairman Delegate Brian Feldman indicated that “a follow-up invitation seems likely.”

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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