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Warren Dechenaux, the Maryland Legislature's top budget analyst, testified before the assembly yesterday that O'Malley's budget cushion of $30 million may not be enough to cover unexpected spending, which has averaged $145 million in the past few years (and is expected to include things like increased cost of defendants at bail hearings, as required by a new court decision).

In addition, the balancing act by O'Malley's last budget includes tapping into reserves of the employee health benefit fund, and lowering state contributions by $100 million.

Dechenaux faced questions from representatives


O'Malley did a powerpoint presentation on his final budget submitted yesterday. The details are still sketchy, but from what we can tell, we should have a problem with the way some of the savings were achieved and revenues generated-- not by tax increases but by cuts to the funding system for pensions.

In previous budgets, the plan to get the state employee pension fully funded was to be achieved by 2024. In 2011, the state upped employee contributions to their pension from 7% to 9%. The state's savings from this increased employee contribution could go back into the pension fund, but only up

Join your fellow union members and members of the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates at the AFT-Maryland 2014 Legislative Reception. Jan. 29, 5:30-7:30 at the Maryland Inn, 16 Church Cir., Annapolis.  Read more...

A $5,000 grant was recently awarded to Edmondson-Westside High School from the AFL-CIO, and will be used to raise awareness of unions. Every student in the school is involved in a trade such as Media Production, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, etc. Carla McCoy, BTU Board member, building rep, and a teacher at the school, says the grant will help the school bring unionism to the forefront of those programs.

McCoy says they plan to start the implementation of this program in January. Part of the program will include the students and teachers in the trades to work closely with the union


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Buses leave from AFT-Maryland's parking lot at 5:30 p.m., and will return around 9:00 p.m. Sandwiches & soft drinks will be provided on the bus. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.


Join business owners, union members, faith leaders and community activists on Tuesday, January 14th at 5:45 PM at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis to show your support for the higher minimum wage in Maryland that low-wage workers deserve. Join us!

We are fighting for a progressive bill:

  • Raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016
  • Index the minimum wage to the cost of living
  • Boost the pay of tipped workers from 50 to 70 percent of the minimum wage

Tuesday, January 14th, starts at 5:45 p.m.
Lawyers Mall, Annapolis, MD

Sponsored by Raise Maryland    

Raise Maryland is a diverse