Hit and Run Politics: Baltimore City and Maryland State Pensions: A Short History

In March 2006, the Institute issued a Report, The Baltimore City Retirement Systems: Heading for Trouble. The summary at the front of the Report stated: “The skimming off of surpluses to provide new unfunded benefits in good investment years, together with mediocre or worse investment performance and an escalation of disability claims in the Fire […]

Baltimore City Pensions: A Worthy Report

The recent report of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Task Force on Fire and Police Pensions under the Chairmanship of Donald Fry is a worthy effort, and repeats many of the observations in Calvert’s The Baltimore City Retirement Systems: Heading for Trouble report in 2006. Task Force recommendations fall into three broad categories- PLAN MANAGEMENT, FUTURE […]

Deep flaws in proposed hate crimes bill

- Endorsement by major media organs like The Washington Post and many “liberals” in the nation’s political establishment of the proposed “hate crimes” bill exists in strange juxtaposition with recent articles and editorials on the U.S. attorneys scandal deploring the abuse and over-centralization of federal law enforcement. But the supporters of the hate crimes bill […]

Contract holds back city schools

A new schools chief has come to Baltimore. Andres Alonso’s arrival coincides with the last stages of negotiation of a multi year teachers union contract, which will effectively tie his hands if its provisions are unwise. There is much in the current contract that was carelessly accepted, and much that needs revision. Political realities preclude […]

The Baltimore City Retirement Systems: Heading for Trouble

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Baltimore City has two pension funds for non-elective officials, a Fire and Police Fund with about $2 billion in assets and a fund for other employees (ERS) with about $1.3 billion. Until three years ago, the Boards of the two funds met together and maintained a common investment policy, one element of which […]

Revisiting the ‘Three Ring Circus’

In our February 2005 issue, we reviewed three ancient and venerable lawsuits: the Bradford school financing litigation in Baltimore City, now in its tenth year; the federal special education lawsuit, now aged 21; and another ‘baby’ lawsuit, the federal court housing litigation, now also ten years old….

The Malpractice Scandal

The Malpractice Scandal The Malpractice Scandal Few Marylanders have read the text of the malpractice bill that emerged from the General Assembly over Governor Ehrlich’s veto, but those who do will come to share Mark Twain’s belief that politicians are “the native American criminal class.” The bill in its final form is almost a parody […]

The Ehrlich Administration at Mid-Passage

Two of the four legislative sessions of Governor Ehrlich’s first term have passed, rendering appropriate an interim assessment of the administration’s performance on major issues facing state government. This review will necessarily pass over some important subjects such as the environment, where the administration has major successes to its credit. It will focus on four […]

The Maryland Budget: The Experts Speak

St.John’s College, Annapolis, January 6, 2004 Reported by Linda A. Crockett, videotaped by G.Stanley Doore, conference organization by Robert O’C. Worcester GEORGE W. LIEBMANN, Executive Director, Calvert Institute, Moderator WILLIAM S. RATCHFORD Director, Department of Fiscal Services, 1974?1997 NANCY K. KOPP Maryland State Treasurer, 2002?; House of Delegates, 1975-2002 ROBERT R. NEALL Maryland State Senate, […]

Market Approaches to Congestion Control

Calvert Report November 2003 Market Approaches to Congestion Control Transcript of a Discussion On October 7, 2002, during the State election campaign, the Calvert Institute sponsored a symposium at Montgomery College, Germantown, including presentations by four leading transportation experts on the then little-discussed subject of Market Approaches to Congestion Control. The symposium coincided with the […]