Higher pensions for some fire, police spouses proposed

Surviving spouses of firefighters and police officers who served fewer than 20 years would receive a higher baseline pension under a bill introduced by two Baltimore City Council members Monday night.

Under a major pension overhaul passed earlier this year, widows and widowers of those who served at least 20 years are paid at least $16,000 a year.

The bill, which was introduced by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and Councilman James B. Kraft, at the request of the Fraternal Order of Police and the firefighters' unions, would extend that minimum to any current surviving spouse of a public safety office.

About 100 spouses would receive more money as a result of the bill, Clarke said.

The majority of council members did not back the bill, and some raised questions about the plan's cost. A hearing will be scheduled in the coming weeks before the council's taxation and finance committee.

Julie.scharper@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/juliemore

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