MACo Urges OPEB Trust to Be Added Under Local Tort Law

On 15, January 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified virtually before the House Judiciary Committee to support HB 378 – Local Government Tort Claims Act – Definition of Local Government. This bill would change the definition of local government to include MACo’s Pooled OPEB Trust Fund under the Local Government Tort Claims Act.

From the MACo Testimony:

HB 378 seeks to specify that this Pooled Trust, clearly performing a governmental function on behalf of its member units, is itself a covered entity under Maryland’s Local Government Tort Claims Act. This would ensure that the government employees are insured by the Trust for their actions in this specific capacity, and that the entity receives the same treatment as other governments and comparable entities under the State’s tort laws.

The more immediate case for HB 378 is that this clarification would allow the Pooled Trust to receive its insurance through yet another instrument of Maryland local governments, the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT). Under LGIT’s forming documents, it may only serve members that are under the Local Government Tort Claims Act, as its underwriting and rate-setting structure is wholly predicated on those laws. HB 378 would enable insurance for the Pooled Trust that is closer to home,
and more affordable, since LGIT more clearly understands the limited role of an admittedly peculiar entity.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for the latest.

Additional Resources:

MACo Pooled OPEB Trust Fund