State Budget Negotiations Continue On Taxes, Pension Shift

The large conference committee on the state budget and related issues continues to meet, but has yet to bring out a compromise proposal for final approval by both chambers. Earlier speculation through the week has intimated that an extended session may be conceivable — a procedure triggered if the operating budget is not completed by the final day of the session (Monday).

From coverage on, some insight into the progress on the proposed shift of teacher pension costs, which does not bode well for counties awaiting final resolution:

Kasemeyer also presented a less formal proposal to compromise with the House on the plan to shift the employer cost of teacher pensions to local governments. The Senate wants to equally shift the cost over four years, while the House plans to take three years to do it – 50% in the first year and 25% in the two years following. Kasemeyer said that the Senate would accept the 50% House shift in the first year, and they could negotiate how the shift would finish.

The committee will meet again Friday and potentially over the weekend to reach a final agreement.

The proposals from the Senate and House agreed to shift pension costs, but had differed on how rapidly to shift costs – the Senate’s previous plan had been a more gradual cost shift, but the proposal reported strongly suggests that the first year effect of the shift may be closer to the more aggressive House plan.

Click here for previous Conduit Street coverage of the differences between the Senate and House approved pension shift plans.

Other references:

The House and Senate summary documents provide the effects of the pension shift and offsets by county.

Senate plan and county effects
House plan and county effects

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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