Prescription Drug Update
On February 26, 2019, at 1:00 pm Brian Blubaugh and Jack Howard will be in Annapolis attending the House Appropriations Committee hearing on HB 98. The meeting will be held in the House Appropriations room #120. HB 98 legislation restores our State Prescription Drug coverage for current and FUTURE retired state employees. HB 98 was introduced by Delegate Eric Bromwell along with 56 cosponsors and this bill will repeal the legislative action that was taken in 2011 eliminating the State Prescription Drug Plan for retirees once they reach age 65. The bill has been assigned to the House Appropriations Committee.
SB 193 is the Senate bill introduced by Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and cosponsored by all 47 Senators. This legislation will be assigned to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Due to the lawsuit and resulting court order, the State is required to continue this benefit through 2019.
The Maryland Troopers Association, in partnership with the Maryland State Police Alumni Association, has promised the membership to continue working hard to overturn the 2011 law. As such, they will be attending the hearing on February 26, 2019, to support this legislation that will benefit current and future Maryland State retirees.
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They realize that not everyone can make the hearing. However, YOU can help your MTA and MSPAA representatives in this battle. Just write a letter to your Delegate and Senator in support of HB 98 and SB 193 respectively. Please write or telephone your Delegate and Senator to voice your support for these bills. Please do so now–do not wait until February 26, 2019. We will be more successful if YOUR message is written directly to your Delegate and Senator before the hearing. Before the formal hearing, the Committee will be briefed on the bill, and they will hold preliminary discussions before going into the hearing room. It will serve our cause better if Delegates and Senators, in their private discussion, tell one another that they have heard from their constituents to support the legislation. Please call or write your Delegate and Senator and let them know the impact this legislation will have on you!
State Troopers began their careers with the understanding that the health and prescription benefits provided would continue through their employment with the state and through their retirement based on eligible service time. Troopers planned for their retirement based on these benefits, and it is very unfair and disingenuous to change the benefit rules in the middle of retirement years. Troopers put their lives on the line in the service of the State of Maryland, and the State has a moral obligation to keep the agreement you expected and the State promised.