MD General Assembly Posts Pre-Filed Bill List

The Maryland General Assembly Senate and House pre-filed bill lists are now available on the General Assembly website. Although the list of pre-file bills are available, there is no bill text at this time. Currently, readers are able to view the bill title, sponsor, and committee assignment. As of today, there are 780 total House and Senate pre-filed bills and resolutions listed on the website. This will be updated to reflect updates on the General…

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Preview the 2021 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This year’s report also includes a special section devoted to issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2021 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative…

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Maryland’s Pension System Earns 3.6%, Falls Short of Annual Goal
Source: Maryland State Retirement and Pension System
Maryland’s Pension System Earns 3.6%, Falls Short of Annual Goal

Fund grows $563 million to nearly $55 billion, falls short of assumed actuarial rate. The Board of Trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System (MSRPS) last week announced that its portfolio returned 3.57%, net of fees, on investments for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020. The fiscal year returns reflect the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global markets. Although the fiscal year earnings fell short of the System’s 7.40%…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Pensions

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on pensions issues in the 2020General Assembly.  Half of Maryland’s counties participate in the State’s pension system, and the other half support their employees through local pension systems. MACo’s pension advocacy includes defending local authority to define the elements of county-run pension systems, and protecting the interests of county governments participating in the State’s pension system. This year, for the first time in since the Civil War, the General Assembly…

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Counties Support “Local Option” Amendment for Pension Enhancements

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified to the House Appropriations Committee, in support with amendments to HB 659 - Law Enforcement Officers' Pension System - Benefits. This bill presents a significant unfunded mandate on county governments by increasing the normal service retirement benefit multiplier for members of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System from 2.0% to 2.5%. The bill also raises – for the second time in three years – the cap on normal service…

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Preview the 2020 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2020 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), the 2020 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population. They are also…

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Printing Money Proposed to Save Public Pensions

An article in Barron's proposes using modern monetary theory to solve the issue of underfunded state public pensions. An article by  Randall W. Forsyth in Barron's describes how public sector finances lag, despite recovery in home prices since the recession. State and local pensions have $8.8 trillion of liabilities, of which only 52% is funded after a decadelong bull market. Falling interest rates have been a major propellant of higher asset prices, but also have…

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Maryland Gets a “D” for Fiscal Health
Maryland's fiscal condition (Truth in Accounting)
Maryland Gets a “D” for Fiscal Health

In its 2019 study on state fiscal rankings, Truth in Accounting (TIA) found that Maryland's debts outweigh its revenues by $33.5 billion — or $12,500 per taxpayer, earning it a “D” grade from the non-profit government finance watchdog group.   The analysis is part of the tenth annual State of the States (FSOS) report, a comprehensive study of the fiscal health of all 50 states based on FY 2018 comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs). In the report, TIA…

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Article Suggests Certain Investments for Public, Church Pensions

As described in an article in Chief Investment Officer, public pensions and church pensions face similar difficulties and might benefit from similar investment models. A white paper written by Rivera and Mercantile Managing Director Thomas Cassara suggests managing volatility and avoiding drastic underfunding. According to Cassara, an ideal investment strategy for these plans needs to address two key objectives. One is to improve the funded status of the plan while managing the ups and downs…

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