ANNAPOLIS - A Maryland Senate panel on Wednesday approved legislation to reduce the city of Hagerstown's pension debt by nearly $2.9 million.
"The city ought to be ecstatic," said Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington.
Munson and other members of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee voted unanimously to approve the legislation.
Committee approval practically guarantees the legislation will be approved by the full Senate before the General Assembly's annual 90-day session adjourns on Monday. The bill already had been approved by the House of Delegates.
The city's pension debt stemmed from a 1996 law that changed the structure of municipal contributions to the state retirement system. Under that law, the city, despite having paid its pension bills to the state on time and in the amount requested, found it owed $9.96 million to the system.
Last year the legislature agreed to lower Hagerstown's debt by about $2.5 million. Six other local governments in the state affected by the 1996 law received lesser amounts.