February 27, 2014
In unusual joint testimony, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, chair and vice-chair of the state pension board, pleaded with Senate budgeters not to permanently cut $100 million in state payments to the retirement system. They said the cut proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley had high long-term repercussions and undermined the state's credibility with bond rating agencies by reneging on promises made in 2011 pension reforms. [...more]
February 9, 2014
It takes quite a bit for the quiet, diplomatic State Treasurer, Nancy Kopp, to criticize her fellow Democrat, Gov. Martin O'Malley. But she gently laid it on the line in opposing O'Malley's $100 million budget cut for state pension contributions.
"It's a question of trust," Kopp said [...more]
September 25, 2013
The O'Malley administration on Wednesday successfully pushed to raise next year's bond authorization to $1.16 billion, $75 million more than this year, rejecting objections by state Comptroller Peter Franchot that "we're adding another Christmas tree ornament."
"We can't afford it," Franchot told the Capital Debt Affordability Committee, saying it should stick to this year's bond authorization of $1,085,000,000. [...more]
July 17, 2013
The Maryland state pension system achieved a 10.6% return on its investment portfolio for the fiscal year that ended June 30, bringing the fund assets to a total of $40.2 billion, Chief Investment Officer Melissa Moye told the pension trustees Tuesday.
The return exceeded the system's target of 7.75% annual return, and was far better than the dismal results of less than 1% for fiscal 2012. [...more]
June 13, 2013
REVISED AND CORRECTED: The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved 44 new contracts for child residential care services in locations throughout Maryland totaling over $364 million over five years.
But one Montgomery County provider did not win an award for a group home that the state and Montgomery County have previously invested in, virtually ensuring the foreclosure of the Sandy Spring group home, its founder said .Hattie Washington of Aunt Hattie’s Place Inc. vociferously protested the lack of funding. [...more]
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]