Counties Protest Aid Cuts, Increased Pension Costs from O’Malley Administration

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Our ambitious governor may be warmly received among Democratic voters in Iowa, but he’s about to feel some less-than-friendly pushback from counties in his home state.

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) is urging policy makers to reverse the O’Malley administration’s move to shift more of the cost of teacher pensions to the counties just as they’re reducing state aid, thus lowering counties’ budgets and increasing their bill. (Not only that, but the counties don’t get a say in relevant pension decisions — that power stays with the state.)

In a statement, MACo decried the effect reduced state aid will have on “roads and bridges, law enforcement, health departments, and jails,” and they demanded a couple seats on the pension board.

You know when I was a child, if I didn’t want to finish my plate I would sometimes just scrape everything I hadn’t eaten onto the plate of my little brother, head outside to play and not look back. This seems kind of like that, except instead of uneaten vegetables it’s unfunded government services, and instead of a child it’s a middle-aged governor with presidential ambitions.

It makes me wonder whether O’Malley would do well to take a break from barbecues in Iowa and finish his uneaten vegetables here in Maryland.

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