Tag: AFSCME

State Roundup: Poll supports Kirwan but not taxes

New Goucher Poll finds strong support for Kirwan education reforms but concern over hike in taxes, with some urging status quo on taxes and state services; former state Attorney General Gansler approves of minimum sentencing for those who commit gun crimes, especially repeat offenders; proposal would ban police from offering waivers to sex crime victims to end investigation; father pushes bill to allow children with seizure disorders to use medical cannabis at school; Senate passes bill to stop discrimination by landlords against those using housing vouchers; Montgomery delegate hopes to find relief for businesses currently suffering through Purple Line construction; and Takoma Park considers banning use of fossil fuels.

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State Roundup, January 15, 2020

Gov. Larry Hogan previews his $47.9 billion budget, saying it shows fiscal responsibility while attacking crime problems and education without raising taxes; Sen. Smith offers bill to prevent landlord bias against housing voucher tenants; prosecutors seek to fix quirk in law that allows first-degree murderers, rapists to be eligible for parole earlier than second-degree offenders; carbon tax proposal returns with education funding component; four Montgomery County delegates to seek seats at Democratic National Convention; new poll finds Vignarajah leading Scott for Baltimore City mayor; and probe under way into death of 17-year-old special ed student.

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Hogan’s $42 billion budget not causing much indigestion — yet

Legislators and nonprofit groups are still digesting the $42.3 billion budget Gov. Larry Hogan submitted Wednesday. But there were few signs of indigestion over a proposal that increases spending by $2 billion (5%), while setting aside a record $1.5 billion in reserves and surplus. “We don’t know until we get into all the details” is the way House Speaker Michael Busch summed it up after breakfast with the governor and fiscal leaders. House Appropriations Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh had lots of unanswered questions, as well.

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State employees protest lack of new contract or response to proposals

Gov. Larry Hogan will host the annual holiday party for state employees Thursday afternoon at the governor’s mansion. But outside Government House, members of the state’s largest public employee union, AFSCME, plan on protesting what they say is the administration’s failure to negotiate a new contract or respond to any union proposals, despite a Dec. 31 deadline in state law.

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Rascovar: Prison layoffs another example of ready, fire, aim?

A real-life drama — and personal tragedy — played out last week when the Maryland Board of Public Works took up the Hogan administration’s request to fire 59 state workers who don’t deserve to be coldly thrown out of their jobs. Most of them have earned sterling performance reviews. They have worked diligently for the state responsibly handling personnel matters. Yet now they have been accused — unfairly and without a whisper of truth — of being part of the state prison system’s “rampant criminal activity” and “corruption.”

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Unions, pension board unhappy O’Malley cut $100M in promised payment to retirement fund

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.

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Indicted correctional officers were low paid

Thirteen Maryland correctional officers indicted last month in a corruption case that has outraged legislators and the public were getting paid between $28,000 and $47,000 in 2012, according to salary figures from the comptroller’s office. “The vast majority are doing [the job] at the current salary level,” said one union representative. “I don’t think offering someone more money makes them more honest.”

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Correctional officers respond to Baltimore City prison scandal

The union that represents Maryland correctional officers responded Tuesday to the scandal that led to the federal indictment of 13 Baltimore City Detention Center correctional officers for helping a national gang run a criminal enterprise within the walls of the prison. The officers complained of lack of staffing and systemic weaknesses.

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Senate budgeters cut pension contribution by $100 million

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee voted Thursday to cut $100 million in contributions to the State Retirement and Pension System for fiscal 2014. The committee tied the unexpected move to passage of legislation that will eventually ensure the state puts aside enough money for employee and teachers pensions. But the cut also adds a year to achieving long-term funding goals for those pensions.

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Toll agency workers begin effort to unionize

Employees of the Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the state’s toll bridges and tunnels, have kicked off a campaign for union representation even though the governor has yet to sign the bill authorizing collective bargaining at their agency.

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