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Citizen Coalition Fighting O'Malley's Teacher Pension Shift

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Opponents of one cost cutting measure from Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are unveiling a website outlining their concerns. The governor this year has proposed shifting part of the burden of paying teacher pensions to counties, something he has resisted in the past.

The "Stop the Shift" website was started by a coalition of elected officials, educators, taxpayers, community activists, and government employees, according to the site.

Many leaders in both branches of the General Assembly have sought the move as a way to trim the state budget, as the state currently fully pays teacher pensions. 

Local leaders from around Maryland are almost uniformly against the shift, saying they face budget deficits that will only grow if they have to start paying for pensions. In Montgomery County, the plan would cost $47 million in the next fiscal year. A statement from the county council released on the web site says that amount is equal to the salaries of nearly 500 teachers, police officers, and firefighters.

O'Malley has called his plan fair considering that he has resisted pressure to propose the shift in previous years.

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