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Session Laws, 1985
Volume 760, Page 3928   View pdf image
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increase, funds in the budget for a commensurate salary increase
for the permanent employees of the Tri-County Council of Southern
Maryland. My objections to this legislation stem from the
essentially local nature of the Tri-County Council; the absence
of a direct relationship in the setting of salaries for council
employees and State employees, as well as any connection between
Council employees and the State personnel system; and the ability
of the Council at present to request additional funding for
salary increases from the four governmental units contributing to
the operations of the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland.

The Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland functions as a
local planning and development agency serving the region
consisting of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties. As
such, it "initiates and coordinates plans and projects for the
development of human and economic resources of the Southern
Maryland region as a Southern Maryland Planning and Development
Agency." See, Md. Ann. Code, Art. 20, § 103 (1984 Cum. Supp.).
The voting membership of the Council consists of those State
Senators and Delegates representing the Tri-County region, three
county commissioners from each county, a member of the Southern
Maryland Municipal Association, and several at large members from
the counties represented. Maryland law makes clear that the
Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland exists as a regional
independent entity created to serve Southern Maryland.

Since its inception the Council has received operating
subsidies from the 3 represented Southern Maryland counties as
well as from State and Federal government sources. While the
local governments represented on the Council are required under
existing law to provide at least minimal funding, any State
contribution is unrestricted. Yet, if House Bill 248 was signed
into law, the State would have the singular responsibility of
funding certain salary increases. Procedurally, each year the
Council submits to the Department of Economic and Community
Development a budget proposal outlining the sources and amounts
of anticipated operating revenues, such as funding provided by
the Southern Maryland counties, plus a request for partial State
funding to support its remaining operating costs. Existing
funding mechanisms seem adequate to meet legitimate salary

Under existing law, the Tri-County Council possesses full
discretion to employ persons and "prescribe their duties and fix
their compensation." See, Md. Ann. Code, Art. 20 § 2-301(i) (1984
Cum. Supp.). Clearly, should a salary increase be appropriate
for employees of the Council, the Council has full authority to
selectively or collectively modify the salary levels. Salary
levels, numbers of employees and any contemplated pay increases
for Council employees must be viewed by the Council in the light
of other needs and possible fiscal constraints. Requiring
Statewide pay increases to be automatically given to Council
employees effectively takes that part of the Council's budget


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Session Laws, 1985
Volume 760, Page 3928   View pdf image
 Jump to  

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