MontCo lawmakers pursue lawsuit over police referendum

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Rachel Baye

Montgomery County lawmakers have decided to pursue a lawsuit challenging the county Board of Elections' decision to let residents vote on a bill scaling back collective bargaining rights for the police union.

The bill, passed in July, restricts the Fraternal Order of Police's ability to engage in what is known as "effects bargaining" and amounts to the ability to dispute all management decisions — an ability not shared by the other county government employee unions. Under the bill, police retain the right to bargain over wages, benefits and working conditions.

The union submitted a petition to bring the bill to a referendum, and in December, the Board of Elections validated 34,828 signatures. Shortly after, the county council sued the Board of Elections challenging the decision.

Though the county council filed the lawsuit in December to meet a legal deadline reserving the right to sue, it was unclear at the time whether the council would pursue the suit. The council brought on Silver Spring lawyer Jonathan Shurberg to investigate the validity of the signatures the union submitted.

The council decided Tuesday not to withdraw the challenge, Council President Roger Berliner, D-Bethesda, said in a statement.

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Rachel Baye

Staff Writer - Education
The Washington Examiner