Prescription Drugs – Update
From MTA President Brian Blubaugh
The Maryland Troopers Association Executive Board and Lodge Presidents met Tuesday, October 16, 2018, for their monthly meeting. Also present were Byron B. Warnken and Rebecca L. Smith, Attorneys for the MTA, and P. J. Hogan and John Bohanan of Cornerstone Government Affairs, lobbyists for the MTA. Foremost on everyone’s minds was the Temporary Restraining Order issued by United States District Court Judge Peter Messitte preventing the state from enforcing the law and requiring prescription drug coverage to continue for retirees.
Mr. Warnken advised that he was extremely pleased with the success of the lawsuit filed in Baltimore and noted this is a massive win for retirees. Mr. Warnken further stated that one more year of drug coverage is not the biggest part of this win. The biggest part of this win is the ability to lobby the legislature in this upcoming session to hold on to the benefits retirees have earned. He recommended the MTA work with our lobbyists on this issue into the upcoming legislative session, which will occur. Whether or not a contract exists between retirees for the specific health benefit of prescription drugs is still not a settled question of law. Success in the upcoming legislative session is likely imperative to avoid the years of (potentially unsuccessful) litigation.
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Mr. Bohanan of Cornerstone Government Affairs recommended the MTA hold their legislative reception within the first few weeks of the session and on a Monday evening to maximize attendance by legislative members. MTA members will be informed of the date as soon as it is confirmed.
Today, October 18, 2018, Retired Captain Tom Williams and Lt. Mike Brady, representing the Maryland Troopers Association, attended a reception honoring Senator Kathy Klausmeier of District 8, Baltimore County. Both Captain Williams and Lt. Brady spoke with Senator Klausmeier and asked for her support on changing the law for the retirees’ prescription plan. Senator Klausmeier advised that she would be introducing a bill in the upcoming session to restore the prescription drug plan for state retirees. She further said she wanted her sponsorship of this bill relayed to all MTA members.
The MTA will continue to communicate all efforts it undertakes on this very important issue.
Brian Blubaugh, President
Maryland Troopers Association