A bill that county officials said would save $400,000 annually in additional pension costs appears likely to die quietly in committee.
The controversial bill, sponsored by Del. Adrienne Jones, remains in the House Appropriations Committee as the Maryland General Assembly nears the end of its session tonight at midnight.
In addition to a favorable vote in committee, the bill would need to pass the full House as well as pass out of a Senate Committee and then the full Senate.
Such a move seems unlikely in seven hours.
County officials including Fred Homan, the county administrative officer, said earlier this year that the bill could save Baltimore County $400,000 annually by overturning a court ruling that said the county was charging too much for a penalty on pensions to retirees who transferred their state pension time into the county retirement system.
State law requires that the county count the employee's time in the state pension system as county time even though the employee doesn't contribute to the state system.
In Baltimore County, employees contribute a percentage of their salary toward their retirement benefits. State law allows the county to reduce the final pension benefit to adjust for years when payments weren't made plus 5 percent interest compounded annually.
Currently, the county reduces the payments by nearly 8 percent interest compounded monthly—which nearly doubles the reductions to affected employees.
A Harford County Circuit Court judge, a county Board of Appeals ruling and an opinion from the Office of the Attorney General, all say the county interest rate is too high.
Jones, the sponsor, came under criticism for a possible conflict of interest for sponsoring the bill because she also is deputy director of the county's Office of Human Relations.
The bill is the second such legislative measure from the county to be defeated in the last month. Last month the County Council voted to table a bill that would have eliminated one union's ability to count overtime toward the final calculation for pension benefits.