Data-Z News

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Truth in Accounting highlights uncomfortable truths about Kansas pensions

OCTOBER 20, 2021 | KANSAS POLICY INSTITUTE | by Ganon Evans

By Ganon Evans, includes “… The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of how an uncertain future could derail healthy pension payments. Methods to prepare for these uncertainties in future pension plans include stress testing at the state level and cost-sharing plans between employers and employees.”

Illinois’ gerrymandered political map is a window into America’s political dysfunction

OCTOBER 20, 2021 | REASON | by Eric Boehm

By Eric Boehm, includes “The proposed plan for redrawing Illinois' congressional districts is a total mess. State lawmakers were tasked with the once-per-decade redistricting, and the Democrats who control the state government produced a map that is both wildly partisan and wildly gerrymandered.”

As inflation rises, so will tax bills in many states

OCTOBER 20, 2021 | TAX FOUNDATION | by Jared Walczak

By Jared Walczak, includes “Inflation is often called a hidden tax, but in many states it yields a far more literal tax increase as tax brackets fail to adjust for changes in consumer purchasing power. … When tax brackets, the standard deduction, or personal exemptions are not inflation-adjusted, they lose value due to inflation, raising tax burdens in real terms.”

Inflation surge could mean higher taxes for Americans in many states

OCTOBER 20, 2021 | FOX BUSINESS | by Megan Henney

By Megan Henney, includes “A new analysis published Tuesday by the Tax Foundation shows that 15 states fail to account for inflation when drawing the brackets for taxes on wage and income, while another 18 states do not index personal exemption tax to inflation. Altogether, 22 states have at least ‘one major unindexed provision,’ which could mean higher taxes for individuals amid a recent inflation surge.”

Michigan ignored warnings about loose pandemic aid criteria

OCTOBER 19, 2021 | GOVERNING | by Beth LeBlanc

By Beth LeBlanc (The Detroit News), includes “The federal government warned Michigan in May 2020 to avoid adopting overly lenient qualifications for pandemic unemployment assistance as it carried out the federal jobless aid program. … The state didn't send letters asking people to recertify under different qualifications until late June — more than a year after the Department of Labor initially warned about the loose criteria.”

Was departing Inspector General Joe Ferguson an effective city watchdog? He was more like a pit bull

OCTOBER 19, 2021 | CHICAGO TRIBUNE | by Editorial

Editorial, includes “City Hall loathes an eye in the sky. … How close is Lightfoot to naming a permanent replacement for the outgoing IG? Ferguson gave Chicago a window into that pressing matter during his WBEZ appearance Wednesday. ‘That’s an enormous question, and it’s shocking that I can’t give you an answer,’ Ferguson said, adding that City Hall has been aware since July that he wasn’t going to stay on as IG.”

New analysis of ARPA fund allocations based on recovery plans

OCTOBER 19, 2021 | NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE BUDGET OFFICERS | by Kathryn White

By Kathryn White, includes “Today, NASBO released a new issue brief examining states’ processes for allocating Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds, authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and planned uses of these funds. This analysis is based strictly on what states and territories reported to the U.S. Treasury Department in their Recovery Plan Performance Reports, which were due on August 31, 2021.”

An Ohio pension manager risks running out of retirement money. His answer: Take more risks

OCTOBER 18, 2021 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | by Heather Gillers

By Heather Gillers, includes “… The problem is that this fund pays out more in pension checks every year than its current workers and employers contribute. That gap helps explain why it is billions short of what it needs to cover its future retirement promises. ‘The bucket is leaking,’ he said. The solution for Mr. Majeed—as well as other pension managers across the country—is to take on more investment risk."

Private equity investments continue to pose challenges for public pension plans

OCTOBER 18, 2021 | REASON FOUNDATION | by Jen Sidorova

By Jen Sidorova, includes “For investment managers of public pension plans, the pressure to achieve high returns has increased in recent years. … Private equity investing, which public pensions hope will bring higher returns, has become more common in portfolios. However, this strategy comes with a higher level of investment volatility, higher investment fees, and a noted lack of transparency.”

Honest satire

OCTOBER 18, 2021 | CALIFORNIA POLICY CENTER | by Celeste Fiehler

By Celeste Fiehler, includes “Last week, the satirical website The Babylon Bee published an article proclaiming, ‘kids form union and donate millions to Newsom so they won’t have to get vaccinated.’ As with any good parody, this piece centered on truth: the most effective voices in California’s education system are teachers unions, because they have a lot of money.”

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