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Analysts: Maryland Retiree benefit freeze illegal

ANNAPOLIS — State legislative analysts in Maryland say a proposal to freeze cost-of-living adjustments for retirees would be illegal.

The analysts told members of Maryland’s Public Employees and Retirees Benefits Commission on Monday that a five-year freeze on cost-of-living increases was not a viable way to resolve large unfunded liabilities in the pension and health benefit system for state workers.

Commission members were expected to begin voting on how to address funding issues, but deferred action until next week to give members more time to digest proposals.

Former Maryland Speaker of the House Casper Taylor is the commission’s chairman. He has said he hopes the panel can present a preliminary report next week that they can give to Gov. Martin O’Malley and the state legislature, which convenes in January.

2 comments

  1. elizabeth mcconnell

    The pension was frozen this year, if it is illegal, why was it frozen? I am still receiving the same amount as last year.There was a note attached to the voided check in July explaining why the amount was the same.Am I missing something here?

  2. The State of Maryland has had two options for fixing its budget problems for the past three years.

    It could admit that its revenues were insufficient to provide all of the services that it was providing, and accordingly close parts of its agencies and offer fewer services…

    Or it could engage in the collective punishment of all State employees, and cut their pay across the board, without making difficult decisions that would address the long-term viability of state finances.

    For three straight years, the governor and the legislators opted for Choice #2. So I would say the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the legislature once again seeking to solve its fiscal problems on the backs of State employees, this time by collectively punishing them with pension cuts.

    And taxpayers wonder why they encounter bad State workers…

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