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Maryland Counties Band Together Against Teacher Pension Shift

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Lawmakers from counties across Maryland visit Annapolis to fight plans to shift teacher pension funding to them.

The Maryland Association of Counties is banding together to send a message to Gov. Martin O'Malley: Stop the teacher pension shift -- a massive and immediate shift from the state to its counties and cities to pick of the burden of paying $240 million toward teacher pensions.

“If this shift comes there will definitely be cuts,” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said.

Children could be hurt by cuts in arts, libraries and social services. In Howard County, teachers and others could lose their jobs.

“Well, it's not just teachers, police officers, firefighters,” Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said. “Yeah, I mean if this shift happens the way that it's proposed, everything's on the table: layoffs, furloughs, reductions in salaries.”

Shifting teacher pensions would increase Montgomery County’s current budget gap by an additional $47 million.

“The impact to Montgomery County would be devastating,” County Executive Isiah Leggett said. “We simply cannot absorb $47 million.”

Some local lawmakers in Annapolis said that if O'Malley's tax increases are passed this session, then perhaps the state teacher pensions will not have to be shifted to the counties and the cities.

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