ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Democrats on Monday outlined plans for legislation to help people save for college and retirement.

They are backing a measure to create a matching program to encourage thousands of families to begin saving early for college. The state would provide a $250 match for money put in a college savings plan. The amount people would have to save each year to get the $250 match would vary based on income.

“Those people who earn more money will have to put in more to get the $250,” said Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, D-Baltimore County. “Those people who earn under $100,000 would only have to put in $25 to get a $250 match.”

The measure also would create a tax credit program to help middle class workers with student debt exceeding $20,000. It would provide a tax credit of up to $5,000 for about 1,000 people.

The proposals were part of a package to help the middle class backed by Democrats, who control both the House and Senate in Maryland.

Democrats say they also support creating incentives for Maryland businesses to provide retirement savings plans for their employees, but details remain to be worked out. Del. Bill Frick, D-Montgomery, said lawmakers are working with the U.S. Labor Department as they craft the measure.

“We expect to have a bill ready in the coming weeks and legislation passed in this 2016 legislative session that will give every working Marylander the tools to provide for a secure retirement,” Frick said.

Sen. Susan Lee, D-Montgomery, and Del. Kris Valderrama, D-Prince George’s, also highlighted legislation they are sponsoring to close loopholes in the state’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. The measure would prohibit businesses from penalizing employees for discussing salaries. The bill also would specify that the attorney general can enforce pay discrimination claims.

(Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Leave a Reply