Follow Doug on Twitter and Facebook BY: Doug Davis Here we go again. We have heard this song before, know the words the choir will sing and even know the dance they will do. When testifying before the Legislative Budget Committee last week, PERS officials made it known they will increase the tax-payer (employer) portion … Continue reading Davis: Discussion of PERS corrections bring out the fear.
BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett In a quick 1 minute piece on WJTV recently, Mississippi Association of Educators President Kevin Gilbert summed up very clearly the problem with Mississippi’s government education system. In Gilbert’s world, government schooling is not about the students. It’s about the teachers, administrators, and employees of the system. The WJTV piece … Continue reading Plunkett: MAE President unintentionally sums up the problem with Mississippi’s Government School System
Fitch told lawmakers at Tuesday’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee hearings that the program is struggling financially, and she wants a thorough audit and study of whether it needs to be overhauled or scrapped, as most other states with similar programs have done. Until then, at Fitch’s request, the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition board voted … Continue reading Fitch and Reeves spar over MPACT program at budget meeting
State government will be asked to put $44 million more into the Mississippi retirement system next year to shore up the program for an estimated 30 years, the system director has told lawmakers. Pat Robertson, executive director of the Public Employees Retirement System, told lawmakers Tuesday that public schools and cities and counties would also … Continue reading PERS Director asking state for $44 million to shore up program
Pause near any City Hall or Courthouse, listen carefully, and you will hear the moaning and groaning. It comes from mayors, supervisors, and other public officials trying to balance next year's budgets. "Revenues for virtually every government entity in the country are stagnant or declining thanks to the recession," asserted the Clarion-Ledger, "while the costs … Continue reading Crawford: Cut, tax, moan and vigilantly avoid.
Revenue for the PERS system comes from three primary sources – investment income, employer contributions (paid by the taxpayers) and employee contributions (deducted from the pay of state employees participating in the PERS plans). Former Gov. Haley Barbour appointed a 12-member study commission to evaluate PERS and recommend improvements that would streamline its organization and … Continue reading Salter: Legislature must deal with PERS
One highlight of the new white paper is that PERS' 10-year average investment return is 5.4 percent, while its operating "assumption" is 8 percent. This is akin to someone assuming their salary will be $40,000 a year as he spends money, when it's really $30,000. It also states that, under a new standard, PERS is … Continue reading Pender: Unattributed PERS white paper circulating around State Capitol
BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett In April, with the 2012 legislative session coming to a close, drama was unfolding in the halls of the Mississippi State Capitol. Drama in the final days of a session is not an unusual occurrence, and certainly not with both ends of the building falling under Republican rule for the … Continue reading State Bond Showdown: The Conservative Reconstruction of Tate Reeves
Complaining about too little access to public information has been a lifelong pursuit for me. Still, I think a “D+” grade assigned to Mississippi by a national group is too low. This state has plenty of good laws, plenty of verbal support for transparency at the highest levels of state government. The train jumps the … Continue reading Mitchell: Mississippian’s don’t take advantage of public information
BY: B. Keith Plunkett Philip Thomas, a Jackson trial lawyer, advocates raising taxes in Mississippi to pay for ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion. He also would use the money to help solve the financial problems of the Public Employee Retirement System. He writes of ObamaCare expansion: Gov. Phil Bryant and other Mississippi Republican leaders oppose accepting the … Continue reading Mississippi Trial Lawyer advocates taxing internet purchases to participate in ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, shore up PERS system.