The situation has Ulman advocating harder for approval of the slots referendum, which would provide $600 million in state revenues in two years. With that in mind, he and the Maryland Association of Counties are urging temporary, not structural, cuts to local governments, he said.
"We are mindful that we are in this together with the state," Ulman said. "My hope is the state will hold off any structural cuts that are long-term cuts, like the pension shift, pending the result in November."
FOR THE RECORD - Correction: An article in Tuesday's editions about the possibility of teacher pension costs being shifted from the state to local governments might have left the impression that Baltimore County officials have been in recent talks with state officials about the possibility of sharing some of the costs. In fact, a spokesman for Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said that while such a possibility had been floated in years past, county officials have had no discussions on the issue with their counterparts in state government since Smith has been in office. The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.
Baltimore County and state officials have talked about various options for sharing the costs, Mohler said. The expense could be shared equally between the county and state. Or the county could begin paying a percentage, or perhaps just the annual increase, which would be $4.6 million a year.
In the meantime, local leaders are waiting to see what O'Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, will do.
"We're fortunate to have a governor who comes from local government and understands these issues," said Michael Sanderson, legislative director for the Maryland Association of Counties.
Sun reporters Arin Gencer, Chris Guy, Mary Gail Hare, Nick Madigan and Laura Smitherman contributed to this article.
TEACHER PENSION COSTS
Local leaders in the Baltimore region fear the effect of having the cost of teacher pensions shifted from the state. Here's what such a move would cost jurisdictions in the area:
Anne Arundel County: $38 million
Baltimore City: $61 million
Baltimore County: $78 million
Carroll County: $19 million
Harford County: $25 million
Howard County: $45 million