Get serious on pension reform

Read more at The Citizens’ Voice

As many local school district and hundreds more statewide prepare to raise taxes this year, state Treasurer Joe Torsella has revealed appalling incompetence at the state level that contributes mightily to that local burden.

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PA doubled down on pension investment that wasted $5.5 billion in fees

Read more at City & State PA

The years-in-the-making saga of Pennsylvania’s pension crisis hit a new low as state Treasurer Joe Torsella revealed that a staggering $5.5 billion has been “wasted” on costly pension fund management fees. A Financial Times article last week detailed how the money was spent by the state on high-priced Wall Street advisors over the past decade, to little effect.

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Pew researcher: Wolf’s $22M deposit to rainy day fund is a ‘big moment’ for Pa.

Read more at the Philadelphia Business Journal

Ever since the Great Recession. Pennsylvania’s rainy day funds have essentially been nonexistent with a recent Pew Charitable Trust report indicating the state’s meager reserve wouldn’t even last three hours. Now for the first time in nearly 10 years, Pennsylvania is depositing money into the budget stabilization fund – a step both the state leader and outside experts are calling significant.

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Pennsylvania state treasurer condemns $5.5bn pension fee ‘waste’

Read the full article at The Financial Times.

Fury has erupted in Pennsylvania over huge fees paid by the Quaker state’s two largest public pension funds to investment managers on Wall Street. Joseph Torsella, state treasurer, has accused Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) of wasting $5.5bn paid as fees to Wall Street investment managers whose funds performed poorly.

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Encouraging future scholars: a rare triumph of vision and patience

Read more at The Times Tribune.

A big part of the problem with education funding as a political issue and public policy is that the payoff comes so long after the investment. The arc of a pre-schooler’s academic career most often is longer than the career of an individual politician, and individual politicians prefer to see quick, tangible results of public policy. And, of course, pre-schoolers don’t vote.

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