Senate Committee Unanimous: Shift Pensions

Affirming widely held speculation in recent weeks, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee this afternoon voted – unanimously – to shift the costs of the state pension system onto county governments. The proposal would cost county governments over $68.3 million in FY 2013, but ramps up to a $255 million shift by FY 2016.

Click here to see the county costs of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee’s pension shift.

Click here to see the four-page summary document used during the “work session” today when the provisions were adopted, including clarifications of many of the attached provisions.

One somewhat complicated element of the plan is the placement of the effective cost burden. Under the B&T proposal, to be voted on the Senate floor next week, the pension bill would be paid out of the school board budget, however the county would be obliged (under a special addition to the maintenance of effort law) to provide the full amount to pay for the shifted costs. The exception to this is a $37 million element in the plan that forgives school boards from paying the state certain retirement costs for federally funded teachers.

Click here for online coverage from the website.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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