March 13, 2014
With minimal debate, the Maryland Senate rejected a half dozen Republican attempts to further trim Gov. Martin O'Malley's $39 billion budget Wednesday, and gave preliminary approval to the spending plan that will be sent to the House this week.
The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee ultimately cut $492 million from the current budget and O'Malley's proposal for next year, partly to make up for lowered revenue estimates in both years. [...more]
March 10, 2014
The Senate Budget Committee voted Friday to take $500 million over the next five years from extra payments into the state pension system to balance the budget this year and for the next four. [...more]
March 7, 2014
Much or all of an annual $300 million extra payment into Maryland's pension system is on the chopping block as Senate budgeters seek to balance Gov. Martin O'Malley's $39 billion budget at a voting session Friday. [...more]
February 27, 2014
In unusual joint testimony, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, chair and vice-chair of the state pension board, pleaded with Senate budgeters not to permanently cut $100 million in state payments to the retirement system. They said the cut proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley had high long-term repercussions and undermined the state's credibility with bond rating agencies by reneging on promises made in 2011 pension reforms. [...more]
February 9, 2014
It takes quite a bit for the quiet, diplomatic State Treasurer, Nancy Kopp, to criticize her fellow Democrat, Gov. Martin O'Malley. But she gently laid it on the line in opposing O'Malley's $100 million budget cut for state pension contributions.
"It's a question of trust," Kopp said [...more]
February 2, 2014
State Treasurer Nancy Kopp told lawmakers Thursday that she opposed Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed $100 million cut in the pension contribution, and said it would undermine trust by the state's bond rating agencies.
"I think this is a very difficult thing to defend with the rating agencies," Kopp told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Administration. [...more]
January 20, 2014
Picking apart Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed fiscal 2015 budget, the legislature's chief fiscal analyst told lawmakers Monday that the administration relied on "familiar budget balancing strategies" to make the numbers work. They included a small than average surplus, shifting special funds, replacing cash with bonds, tapping reserves and cutting pension payments. [...more]
January 17, 2014
The largest unions representing state workers and public school teachers are upset at Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to permanently cut $100 million from extra payments into the state pension system. The money came from additional employee salary deductions required by a 2011 pension reform, and was intended to help cure underfunding in the pension system. [...more]
January 16, 2014
O'Malley as usual rolled out the new budget with an elaborate PowerPoint presentation to reporters that put a positive spin on the budget numbers. But a different spin can be put on some of the numbers. [...more]
December 16, 2013
Maryland legislators elected next year would see their salaries rise to $50,330 in 2018, a 16% raise over the next four years recommended Monday by the General Assembly Compensation Commission.
If the legislature accepts the recommendation, it would give the part-time lawmakers their first raise in eight years. Delegates and senators currently make $43,500. [...more]