At the MACo Winter Conference, Governor O’Malley announced that he would not seek to transfer teacher pensions costs to counties this year. Instead, he stated that the State needed to make the system more sustainable by reducing benefits or increasing employee contributions before shifting costs, acknowledging that the counties are not in a position to take on these costs at this time. In a recent interview on WBAL radio he said the following:
Pension issue is about which level, State or county, should pay for the benefits. I intend to address the tough choices to maintain defined benefit system. There can be no rational conversation on cost sharing until you fix the math that has our pension system underfunded.
He also commented on his budget generally, saying he expects quite a bit of discussion and members of the General Assembly to offer ideas, alternatives, and other proposals.