From Harford County Government:
(Bel Air, MD) – Harford County Executive David R. Craig today issued the following statement regarding action by the Maryland General Assembly to transfer the cost of teacher pensions to county governments:
“As I stated several months ago, the governor and the leadership of the Senate and House of Delegates have failed to address the long-term problem of sustaining a pension system that is broken and by their own admission unsustainable. Rather than fix the problem, the Maryland General Assembly has simply shifted the problem to the counties to deal with.
The governor frequently reminds us that there are three cost drivers affecting teacher pensions: pension benefits, salary increases and investment returns. None of these three issues are controlled by county governments.
As a result of the action taken by the Maryland General Assembly during the recent Special Session, the shift of teacher pensions to Harford County Government will have a $5.5 million impact to the budget and subsequently the taxpayers of Harford County. My Administration has been preparing for this eventuality and will take appropriate measures in cooperation with the Harford County Council, to address not only the first year cost of this unfunded state mandate, but also a long-term solution to address the issue. One option under consideration is withdrawing pending legislation which would provide the second half of a one-time bonus to Harford County employees, teachers, school system support staff, sheriff’s deputies and others.
The State budget problems were caused by the failure of the Maryland General Assembly and the governor to reduce spending and live within the means of a balanced budget. Failure of the State to properly address the fiscal dilemma they created instead of passing the buck to the counties is unconscionable.”