State general revenue shortfall projections

JUNE 1, 2020 | by Bill Bergman, Sheila Weinberg

How large could the shortfall in state government general revenues be, amidst the coronavirus and related crises? 

The spread of the debt virus

JUNE 1, 2020 | NEWPORT DAILY NEWS (RHODE ISLAND) | by Victor Davis Hanson

The current U.S. budget deficit could soon exceed a record $4 trillion. The massive borrowing is being driven both by prior budget profligacy and a hurried effort by the Donald Trump administration to pump liquidity into a quarantined America.

State budget crisis looms in Maine as pandemic rages

APRIL 27, 2020 | PORTLAND PRESS HERALD (MAINE) | by Scott Thistle

The coronavirus pandemic is paving the way for a state budget crisis that will likely be deeper than any Maine has seen in decades.

Spending calls for transparency

FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PROVIDENCE JOURNAL (RHODE ISLAND)

It is becoming clearer by the day that the transparency required to protect the taxpayers is woefully lacking at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Years after reform, RI teachers’ pensions still a hot-button issue, earns ‘F’ grade

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 | GOLOCALPROV (RHODE ISLAND)

A new study gives Rhode Island’s teacher’s pensions an “F." It is not where Rhode Island was supposed to be seven years later after adopting comprehensive pension reform.

Watchdog group: Cost of R.I. government grew faster than incomes

OCTOBER 1, 2019 | PROVIDENCE JOURNAL (RHODE ISLAND) | by Paul Parker

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island’s state budget grew faster than residents’ personal income and faster than the rate of inflation over the past eight years, according to a report by the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

On city’s financial plight, numbers will tell the truth

SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 | WARWICK BEACON (RHODE ISLAND)

Getting a clear financial picture in Warwick has not been an easy task. Even those with accounting degrees would likely have a difficult time piecing together the complex puzzle of shifting budgetary conditions that have developed in the past couple years without a calculator and some detailed notes in front of them.

Rhode Island requires religious organizations to provide pension fund updates

JULY 10, 2019 | AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PENSION PROFESSIONALS AND ACTUARIES | by John Iekel

Pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island now must provide regular updates to participants on the financial health of the plans.

Rhode Island moves closer to church pension transparency

JUNE 18, 2019 | PLANSPONSOR | by Rebecca Moore

Both chambers of the State Assembly have passed legislation that would require religious organizations that manage pension plans to send regular updates on the financial health of the pensions to plan participants.

 

Councilmen defend use of pension to plug deficit

MAY 8, 2019 | WARWICK BEACON (RHODE ISLAND) | by Ethan Hartley

Warwick City Council members on Monday morning fired back at criticism of the reported plan – brokered by a mediator and described by Mayor Solomon last week – which involves using $4 million from a school pension account in order to close the Warwick School Department’s projected deficit for the current fiscal year (which ends June 30).

Providence’s pension plan in ‘critical’ status

MAY 1, 2019 | GOLOCALPROV (RHODE ISLAND)

The majority of municipal plans across the state are also designated as critically underfunded, a total of twenty other municipal pension plans.

Locally run pension plans in R.I. have $2.5 billion in unfunded liability

APRIL 30, 2019 | PROVIDENCE JOURNAL (RHODE ISLAND) | by Katherine Gregg

“Rhode Island’s 35 locally run pension plans have close to $2.5 billion in unfunded obligations to past and present police, fire and municipal employees — led by a billion-dollar gap in the city of Providence … Almost two-thirds of the plans — 21 out of 35 — are in ‘critical status’ …”

Opposition strong to privatizing Providence water system

APRIL 1, 2019 | ECORI (RHODE ISLAND)

City officials made a persuasive argument for leveraging the Scituate Reservoir and the municipal water system to improve its ailing pension system, but the public was having none of it.

What Rhode Island can teach us about pension plunder

MARCH 18, 2019 | FORWARD KENTUCKY | by Ivonne Rovira

Are all Wall Street people crooks? Of course not. Are all pension board members naive rubes? Of course not. Are all pension reforms at best bad ideas, and at worst, scams? Of course not. BUT … some of them ARE. 

An unexpected suggestion to fix Providence’s pension woes

FEBRUARY 27, 2019 | THE OCEAN STATE CURRENT (RHODE ISLAND) | by Justin Katz

One suspects the “tax the rich” approach is offered, here, mainly for educational purposes.  Riley’s drastic proposal is made in response to an F for Providence’s finances from Truth in Accounting.

Will bond rating downgrade spark pension reform?

OCTOBER 30, 2018 | CALEDONIAN RECORD (VERMONT) | by Rob Roper

On Oct. 23, Moody’s, the investors credit service, downgraded Vermont’s bond rating from AAA to Aa1. This has significant implications for the state’s ability to borrow money and the cost of doing so.

Magaziner issues 2018 Rhode Island pension fund report

SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 | GOLOCALPROV (RHODE ISLAND)

Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner issued an overview of the actions that his office has taken in 2018 to “strengthen corporate accountability at hundreds of publicly traded companies in which the state's pension fund invests.”

Rhode Island pension system honored for financial reporting

AUGUST 31, 2018 | THE BOND BUYER

The Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island received the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2017 comprehensive annual financial report.

Doughty: Study group ‘greatly exaggerated’ Providence’s pension problem

JULY 18, 2018 | WPRI-TV (RHODE ISLAND) | by Dan McGowan

The president of the Providence firefighters’ union is raising questions about a report that called the city’s ever-increasing annual pension payments a “recipe for disaster,” arguing that officials do not need to make a “dramatic change” to the poorly-funded retirement system.

Diocese of Providence’s teachers and staff pension fund faces failure

JUNE 25, 2018 | GO LOCAL PROV (RHODE ISLAND)

According to Diocesan documents secured by GoLocalProv, the pension fund for a large number of teachers and staff at Catholic schools in Rhode Island is economically unstable.

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