Federal Court Upholds Baltimore City Pension Reforms

Baltimore City Solicitor George A. Nilson. Image courtesy of the Daily Record.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun, a federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s overhaul of Baltimore’s police and fire pension system, but left open avenues for the unions to keep fighting. As described,

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., overturned a lower court’s ruling in 2012 that a key provision of the 2010 law limiting cost-of-living increases for younger retirees was unconstitutional and not reasonable. The appeals court concluded that the rights of the police officers and firefighters “were not impaired” because they could have contested the law in state court for “breach of contract.”

The city’s victory Wednesday likely was not the final word about the changes, which took effect in 2010. Judge Barbara Milano Keenan of the 4th Circuit wrote that the unions could try again to challenge the law using a different argument, specifically that the city has taken “private property for public use, without just compensation.”

For more information, see the full story from the Baltimore Sun, and our previous posts on Conduit Street, Baltimore City Adopts Series of Pension Reforms, Latest Ruling Props Pieces of Baltimore City Pension Overhaul.

Kristin Barcak, Baltimore City Ten-Year Financial Plan Manager

Kristin Barcak, Baltimore City’s 10-year Financial Plan Manager will be discussing the City’s reforms of the pension system at MACo’s Summer Conference. In the Wake of Detroit: Public Pension Liabilities, sponsored by Human Resources Affiliate and moderated by The Honorable Edward J. Kasemeyer, Chairman of the Maryland State Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, will include a discussion of Baltimore City’s pension reforms and changes to the state’s pension system aimed at reducing liabilities. Elizabeth K. Kellar, President/CEO, Center for State and Local Government Excellence will provide a national perspective on the issue, and insight into the Detroit case.

This session will be held on Thursday, August 14, 2014 from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

Learn more about MACo’s 2014 Summer Conference:

Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White with questions about Summer Conference.