Md. Senate Panel Makes Budget Decisions

More money once planned to reinvest in Maryland's state employee pension system is being tapped to fill a state budget hole.

A Senate budget panel made the decision Friday.

Under pension reform three years ago, Maryland was to pay $300 million above its required pension payment each year to move gradually to fully funding the pension system. Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed capping the payment at $200 million this year to help fill a budget gap.

Now, with a $238 million downward revision in state revenues creating a bigger hole, senators have decided to make only a $100 million payment for fiscal year 2014 and fiscal year 2015. That frees up money to ease budget pressures.

Unions representatives for workers said they approved the idea to protect salary increases from cuts.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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