Post: Pension Plan Would Hurt Counties

The editorial board of the Washington Post opined today on the Governor’s pension shift proposal, rejecting it, saying “[t]he main problem with the governor’s plan is that it sticks counties with a heavy bill but gives them no power to control costs.”

From the editorial:

If localities are to shoulder more of the costs, they need a say in determining those costs. That could be achieved by giving counties a seat at the negotiating table with teachers, relaxing the law that mandates ever-rising budgets for schools or allowing counties to credit their contribution to teachers’ pensions toward their overall education funding. Any of these would require Mr. O’Malley and the other Democrats who dominate Annapolis and most of Maryland’s big localities to confront teachers unions and challenge the idea that school budgets alone are immune from austerity.

Until now, they have been loath to do that. In the past five years, Annapolis has cut state aid to counties for roads, police and other programs by $456 million while increasing aid to schools by an almost identical amount. Good education is critical. But it’s time to restore some balance.

Read the full editorial.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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