April 17, 2013
The outside advisor for the Maryland pension system told its Board of Trustees Tuesday that he was "very disappointed" that the legislature reduced the state's payment into the retirement fund by $100 million in budget action this month. The money comes from $300 million in added contributions of state employees and teachers passed in 2011. It is being set aside for the possible federal budget cuts from sequestration. [...more]
February 12, 2013
As fiscal brinkmanship continues in Congress, state treasurer Nancy Kopp warned a Maryland Senate committee that a federal sequester and the resulting cuts to the state budget could result in a downgrade of Maryland’s triple-A credit rating from Moody’s Analytics, one of America’s three major credit rating agencies. [...more]
For most of the last decade, Maryland has been putting less money into the pension system for state employees and public school teachers than actuaries said it should, as much as $2.4 billion less.
For years, the trustees of the pension system have been urging the legislature to phase out the “corridor” method of funding. This year the General Assembly’s Joint Pension Committee has agreed to go along, and approved a plan to phase it out over the next 10 years. [...more]
December 5, 2012
The bimonthly meetings of Board of Public Works in the Governor’s Reception Room at the State House often get started late. But Wednesday’s meeting of the board that approves all major state contracts got started four hours after the originally scheduled 10 a.m.
October 2, 2012
The Capital Debt Affordability Committee Monday recommended that the state could afford to float an additional $150 million bonds in fiscal 2014, bringing the total to $1.075 billion – but not the extra $750 million over five years the O’Malley administration had requested. [...more]
August 23, 2012
It was a bad day for bureaucrats at the Board of Public Works Wednesday – at least for several state officials who had to defend their spending plans to the three-member board that must approve all major state contracts.
In the end, most of the state agencies got the money they came for, but not before some uncomfortable questions and critical remarks came their way about slow payments and outsourcing loan-making and faculty hiring.
June 6, 2012
Comptroller Peter Franchot had waited long enough for the other two members of the Board of Public Works, the treasurer and the governor, to show up for their biweekly 10 a.m. meeting Wednesday. He told the packed room of "busy people" that the meetings should start on time. [...more]
May 4, 2012
Many audits of state agencies find wasted dollars, poor accounting controls, lax purchasing measures and even occasional fraud; so it’s worth pointing out that legislative auditors reviewing $2.6 billion of spending that went through the transportation secretary’s office found absolutely nothing. The good news comes as Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley announced she’s leaving the post July 1, after almost three years in the job. [...more]
May 3, 2012
Despite a strong protest, the Board of Public Works unanimously awarded a $598 million contract to provide health services to 26,000 prison inmates over the next five years to Wexford Health Sources of Pittsburgh. As prison officials advised, it rejected the bid by Corizon Inc. of St. Louis, which has been providing two-thirds of the services to the prisoners for the last seven years.
April 4, 2012
Approval of two retroactive contracts for Maryland Public Television worth $162,152 were unanimously approved by the Board of Public Works on Wednesday, but the long-standing problems with procurement at the state agency rankled Treasurer Nancy Kopp. [...more]