March 12, 2014
State lawmakers are considering bills that would decide whether local police should help the federal government detain suspected illegal immigrants for deportation. Two delegates from opposite parties are advocating two completely different approaches to address how extensively local law enforcement agencies should cooperate with a federal program that identifies people for deportation as soon as they are arrested. [...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]
March 3, 2014
Maryland’s controversial legislative redistricting is again the target of bills designed to overhaul the process and make it less partisan. Legislators are trying to introduce transparency and civic participation into the redistricting procedure, which now leaves the governor in control and the process wide open to political gerrymandering. [...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 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]
December 12, 2013
Salary hikes for Maryland's next governor, members of the General Assembly and other statewide officials elected next year are set to be decided next week by two compensation commissions specially appointed for this task.
None of these officials have had pay hikes since 2006, and the legislature rejected recommendations from these same commissions four years ago to increase the salaries slightly. [...more]
November 6, 2013
A new poll found strong public support for increasing Maryland's minimum wage to $10 an hour, a step being pushed for the upcoming General Assembly session.
The poll by Goucher College also found the majority of the Maryland public regards current pensions for retired state employees as too low, and also thinks all Maryland workers, not just those employed by the state or local governments, should have a pension. [...more]