April 18, 2015 |
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. - After spending two days telling New Hampshire voters about a need to reform federal entitlement programs and bashing President Obama's foreign policy, Gov. Christie resumed the town-hall circuit at home Thursday by returning to his bread-and-butter state issues: public worker benefits and education. The governor, a prospective candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, wants public workers to contribute more toward their health benefits to align New Jersey's plans with those in the private sector.
April 8, 2015 |
New Jersey's highest court will hear the Christie administration's appeal in a case over funding of the state's pension system. The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday issued an order that set oral arguments in the case for May 6. The order comes as Gov. Christie seeks to reverse a judge's February decision that said the governor broke the law in June when he slashed the state's payment to the pension system for public employees by $1.6 billion for...
March 27, 2015 |
TRENTON - The new chairman of the board that oversees New Jersey's $77 billion pension fund for public employees warned Wednesday against a bill passed by the Legislature that would expand pay-to-play restrictions on the state's investments, saying it would force New Jersey to sell top-performing assets at "disadvantageous prices. " Those remarks came as the state moved ahead with a $100 million investment in a fund controlled by a private-equity firm whose cofounder donated $2.5 million in the last two years to a Republican committee with close ties to Gov. Christie.
March 19, 2015 |
Democratic mayoral candidate Nelson A. Diaz is staking his campaign on city schools. Abolish the School Reform Commission, Diaz says. Establish a local school board and universal prekindergarten. Connect needy students with social services. "I want to be responsible for the school system," Diaz said in an interview Tuesday with the Inquirer Editorial Board. Diaz fleshed out his ideas with a new education policy paper that described a plan for raising an additional $215 million for the Philadelphia School District short-term, and up to $500 million long term.
February 28, 2015
ISSUE | PENSIONS Clarke had a plan Farah Jimenez and Phil Goldsmith criticized City Council for failing to address the city's more than $5 billion unfunded pension liability but missed a strong effort by Council President Darrell L. Clarke to do just that ("The pension problem," Feb. 22). No one was a more aggressive advocate than Clarke for an effective option developed by a working group convened by Temple University's Center on Regional Politics. That option, one of many identified in a report titled "What to Do About Public Pensions: Options for Funding and Reform" (temple.edu/corp)
February 12, 2015 |
Sometime as early as April, Philadelphia's beleaguered pension fund will begin sending out $62 million in bonus checks to retirees. It will do so despite being woefully underfunded - it has less than 48 percent of its $10 billion in obligations - and sucking up an ever-growing portion of the city's overall revenue. It is required to make the payments as a result of legislation championed eight years ago by then-City Councilman James F. Kenney, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor in the May primary.
January 22, 2015 |
Philadelphia's severely underfunded municipal pension fund is "an obstacle" to the city's long-term economic growth, a special report from the city's fiscal oversight board warns. "Philadelphia cannot continue to grow and prosper unless its public sector costs are affordable to its taxpayers, and unless these costs are predictable," the report from the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) states. PICA's 62-page report follows a state auditor general's report on municipal pension funds that also pointed out the high risk that Philadelphia's pension fund faces.
January 5, 2015 |
By Michael Carroll I confess that I am a little envious of the peculiar and controversial public employee retirement program known as DROP, for Deferred Retirement Option Plan. I like the image, the sound of it, and the opening it provides for imagination. I would also like the money. Few inside Philadelphia government understand DROP completely, and even fewer outside have a clue. As I understand it, city employees declare their intention to retire in a few years, which is supposed to give the city time to plan for their departure.
December 1, 2014 |
There are a couple of reasons the pension funds that pay retired teachers, police, elected officials, and other public servants have become more expensive for taxpayers - eating up $1 of every $6 in Philadelphia's city budget, for example. It's easy to blame the exotic, sometimes politically connected, investments in unprofitable projects and secretive far-off funds that the pensions' trustees - many of them political appointments - have too often approved. But it's probably more costly that politicians years ago fattened pension benefits but didn't set aside enough money to pay for them along the way. And they still don't.