O'Malley, Franchot, Kopp mismanage state pensions

December 07, 2010

The letter from Jim Hagerty in Monday's Sun regarding the gutting of state retiree pensions ("The state is looking to gut pensions," Dec. 6) is another strong clarion call that points out how tenuous the fiscal management of state pensions has been under the leadership of Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The warnings about this issue have been being sounded for years now, and successive generations of governors have ignored the problem in favor of growing state government by robbing Peter to pay Paul and by grabbing all the federal stimulus payments to continue state government overhead, thereby deferring the day of reckoning for addressing the underfunding of pensions in the state.

And now, the pension system is asked to contribute $400 to $500 million next year to help balance the budgets for the state bureaucracy. With the absence of the federal stimulus crutch that Mr. O'Malley used to shore up state finances for the past two years, it is hard to believe that major restructuring of state government isn't underway now, since this problem is not a new one.

I wonder if this information had been highlighted earlier this year whether Mr. O'Malley would be living in Annapolis for another four years?

Mr. Hagerty is right, all state employees need to wake up and make the case for reasonable reform to fix the pension funding issue and to keep the governor's hands off their future.

Sam Davis, Towson

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