This year's report found that 31 states did not have enough money to pay all of their bills.
By Laura Bischoff, includes “The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund is asking lawmakers to boost how much local governments pay into cops and firefighters' retirement system – a move that could cost those communities hundreds of millions of dollars. … He added, ‘Employers should pay their fair share and the time to act is now while local governments are in a strong financial position.’ … ”
To encourage the publication of transparent and accurate government financial information, Truth in Accounting has created a transparency score for financial reporting by the states.
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."
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.”
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Truth in Accounting's twelfth annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information.
By Jim Provance, includes “Ohio's nearly $95 billion pension fund for teachers has pushed back against preliminary findings of an independent review funded by retirees that claims the system lacks transparency and has paid excessive fees and performance bonuses for investments that have ‘massively underperformed.’ …”
By Edward Siedle, includes “… the Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA) engaged my firm to conduct an independent expert forensic review of the $90 billion-plus State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio..."
Includes “… Alarmingly, our investigation reveals that the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) has long abandoned transparency."
AP story by Mark Gillespie and Julie Carr Smyth, includes “The arrests one year ago Wednesday of then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four associates in connection with an alleged $60 million bribery scheme have rocked business and politics across the state."
By David Kraft, includes “Nuclear bailouts represent the government’s way of turning people into utility ATM machines. At the state level, that would be ratepayers."
Editorial, includes “… Gov. Mike DeWine and the Legislature passed an income-tax cut that returns part of the state’s surplus to individuals and businesses. A legal victory also rolled back the Biden Administration’s attempt to seize control over state fiscal policy. Federal Judge Douglas Cole on Thursday ruled in Ohio’s favor in its challenge to the American Rescue Plan Act, aka the March spending blowout. …”
By Gretchen Morgenson, includes “… ‘The first issue is lack of transparency’ in the pension plan's private equity and hedge fund investments, Rayfield said. ‘We don't know what fee structures and costs are associated with it and how much that investment is worth today. ”
By Neil Weinberg (Bloomberg), includes “A group of retirees says the $80 billion Ohio state teachers’ pension fund is paying high fees to private equity firms for underwhelming returns. A report commissioned by the 18,400-member Ohio Retired Teachers Association says ‘billions have been have squandered’ by the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio on fees and under-performance in the pension fund’s $14.3 billion alternative-investment portfolio, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg.”
By Jim Provance (The Toledo Blade), includes “The public records lawsuit will ask the Ohio Supreme Court to force the State Teachers Retirement System … to release information that investment firms have claimed is proprietary or a trade secret.”
By John Damscroder, includes “… The New York pension forced FirstEnergy to disclose direct and indirect political spending along with lobbying expenses, twice a year, to keep the pension from putting the proposal to a shareholders vote. Thus, the company on the receiving end of a billion dollar Ohio Statehouse bailout the U.S. Department of Justice alleges passed with the help of $60 million in political bribes has reform imposed from New York rather than Ohio. …” (Note: Parallels with Illinois developments?)
By Joey Garrison, includes “… Republicans have slammed the city and state relief as an unneeded bailout for liberal-controlled cities and states that mismanaged finances. This week they seized on a new J.P. Morgan study that found revenue growth in state governments declined only marginally since the pandemic hit, hardly the doomsday scenario that many forecasted last spring.”
By Colby Galliher, includes “… Because many of those older power plants operate at a loss, utilities taking this position often turn to local and state governments for subsidies or bailouts. While bailouts are not necessarily problematic in and of themselves, in some cases a shadowy constellation of individuals, organizations, and companies are the driving forces behind them. … They then take advantage of lax disclosure laws to conceal their involvement or their connections to the policymakers pushing to grant the bailout with public funds. …”