Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 25, 2014

‘Tapping the reserves’ involves stealing state employee benefits

You highlighted “important” programs Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has included in his budget; however, not how O’Malley’s proposals are going to be funded and the economic problems involved.

MarylandReporter.com ran this article on Jan. 20: http://marylandreporter.com/2014/

01/20/analyst-dissects-tactics-omalley-used-to-balance-md-budget-including-pension-cut/


These “balancing strategies” are not clever accounting or even close to being accountable to the tax payers of Maryland.

The “tapping” of the reserves of the employee health benefit fund is robbing the state employees of their earned benefits — next year it will be about how this fund is broke or is underfunded.

The proposal for permanently cutting $100 million contribution from the state to the state employees and teachers’ retirement fund and to be transferred elsewhere is unethical. In private sector, this maneuver is called embezzlement!

Also, what about the laws on the books that were established in 2011 to correct the underfunding of the retirement system and new requirements?

This is a disaster and pathetic if the legislature goes along with it. The stealing of designated tax funds from one allocation to another and increasing the bond debt must stop! We need a lock box enacted to stop this behavior.

K. Darlene Park

Frostburg

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