MoCo Council Delays Disability Vote
The Montgomery County Council this afternoon postponed a vote on legislation to overhaul the government's troubled disability retirement system.
After meeting behind closed doors for more than an hour, council members said they wanted more time to craft legislation that will likely reflect changes to the system negotiated by County Executive Isiah Leggett and police union leaders.
Council President Phil Andrews said he would schedule a vote for next Tuesday.
"No one is defending the current system," Andrews said. "People agree that we have a problem."
Leggett and union leaders agreed to a long list of procedural changes to one-size-fits-all system for police officers who are injured on the job. But the sticking point was the benefit, and came down to whether the county should create a smaller partial disability benefit for those who are still capable of working in some capacity.
In the coming week, the council will decide whether to pass legislation that includes only the fixes agreed to by Leggett and the union, or to go further and impose a two-tier disability retirement benefit similar to the one applied to Montgomery's firefighters.
The council could put off that prickly decision for another day and instead let Leggett and the union try again when scheduled contract negotiations begin in the fall.
Andrews was coy when asked after today's session whether he thought it was imperative to include a two-tier system, which he has said is an important component of any reform.
"My goal is to achieve as much reform as the council can achieve at this time," he said.
April 28, 2009; 4:17 PM ET
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