Opinion: Who Pays for Public Employee Health Costs?

A detailed inspection of these revenues reveals that they come from sources subject to significant discretionary reporting (Cullen, 2003). One third of the relevant dollars are associated with “categorical aid” for students classified as having special needs or requiring remedial education. Recent work documenting troublingly high error rates in school lunch programs (Bass, 2010) emphasizes the flexibility of school reporting and the limitations of the systems through which eligibility claims are validated. We also find that the strength of teachers’ unions mediates school districts’ responses to benefit growth. The relationship between our projections of benefit growth and actual benefit growth is strongest in school districts with strong teachers’ unions. Districts with weak unions appear to have offset increases in health care costs much more through reductions in the generosity of benefits. Inflows of categorical aid also appear to be mediated by union strength. The same is true of inflows of general formula assistance, though this result is imprecisely estimated.

THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY now on newsstands from Glen Burnie to Ocean City

The monthly print edition of THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY can now be found on newsstands all over Maryland. Reaching far beyond the Southern Maryland region, look for THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY in major stores in Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Queen Anne County, Talbot County, Worcester and Wicomico on Maryland’s Eastern Shore as well as in Delaware. The print edition will soon be distributed in Northern Neck Virginia as well. Advertisers may reach Larry Jarboe at 240-298-5253 or Ken Rossignol at 301-535-8624.

St. Mary’s County officials exposed Social Security numbers for all employees of Sheriff

As St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron is a state official, indeed a constitutional officer of the state, his staff of clerks and cops are considered county employees and the agency is required by law to be funded by the county commissioners. Therefore, compliance with the state law requiring disclosure of public information to the public could be considered to have to adhere to Executive Orders of the Governor.

Of course, had St. Mary’s County’s Finance Director, Elaine Kramer or County Attorney George Sparling felt compelled to verify the data provided in the Public Information Request, they might have spotted the illegal distribution of employee Social Security numbers to the public. An electronic distribution, as requested for fiscal year 2011, was simple and but four columns, without intricate records of sick leave, annual leave, contributions to pension and FOP dues, worker’s compensation, Medicare contributions and so on.

St. Mary’s County is not the only government entity that makes illegal dumps of social security numbers. The Internal Revenue Service, indeed the very agency caught up in the scandal over illegally auditing conservative groups, the Office of Tax Exempt Organizations, reportedly did an electronic dump of over 100,000 social security numbers in a public information request to PublicResource.org. as reported in Human Events in 2013

EPA wants to regulate ponds, ditches and rainwater in low spots on farms; fear the bureaucrat!

The “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule lets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate small ponds, ditches, rainwater flowing through low spots and isolated wet spots – the same as if they were a river or other navigable waterways.

This proposal will be a serious threat to farming and ranching, homebuilding, energy production and other land uses.

Salisbury shipyard sends tugs, cruise ships and ferries around the world

THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY

SALISBURY, MD. — Given the huge expanse of the Chesapeake Bay region, with all its mighty tributaries, such as the Magothy, the Patuxent, Potomac and Choptank, it only figures that Maryland is the home of a shipbuilder. The old Davis Shipyard on Solomon’s Island was well-known world-wide for its custom sailing vessels in the last century, as was Trumpy’s custom yachts in Annapolis and the Liberty ships of Bethlehem Steel during WWII.

Now the Chesapeake Shipbuilding Co. has been building various vessels that sail the seas around the world, specializing in ocean-going tugboats, utility vessels, fireboats, ferries and small to medium size passenger cruise ships.