Lawmakers settle pension differences

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A panel of Maryland lawmakers has settled pension and prescription drug differences between the House of Delegates and Senate.

The compromise worked out Monday addresses one of the biggest differences between the two houses in budget legislation.

The panel settled on retiree prescription drug changes that will raise out-of-pocket expenses, but not as much as had been considered. Currently, out-pocket expenses are capped at $700 a year. But that will rise to $1,500 for the retiree and $2,000 for a couple.

The panel had been considering an out-of-pocket expense of $2,000 for the retiree and $3,000 for a couple.

The panel decided to create a cost-of-living adjustment between 1 percent and 2.5 percent for retirees, but only to adjust for inflation.

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