Over a Barrel: Pensions and Slots

By Elizabeth Rich — March 14, 2008 1 min read
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The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland State Senate President, Thomas V. Mike Miller is putting pressure on the leaders of the Maryland State Teachers Association to support a referendum to legalize slots in order to raise hundreds of millions of education dollars. In a do-or-die scenario, Miller told the MSTA that a failure to support the measure would cause the General Assembly to seek other funding sources for teacher pensions (like counties and school boards). State Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has other ideas for filling the coffers (like putting pressure on tax evaders), said Miller was giving the MSTA a “false choice.” “I keep reminding them [the MSTA],” said Franchot “that slots are forever; the budget problems we have are temporary.”

Local teachers associations want the MSTA to hear all voices because, said one group’s president, “All of us local presidents know that we have members on both sides of the issue.” Gary Brennan, another association president, believes that the responsibility of revenue shouldn’t be on the shoulders of local counties because the decision would be to cut teacher raises. “No matter what happens, education funding should not be held hostage to any particular revenue.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.