What should we make of the recent survey finding by the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) that 41% of the state’s teacher’s work a second job to make ends meet?
The Maryland Public Policy Institute, the free-market think tank, celebrated its 15th anniversary Thursday night, announcing two new initiatives and honoring Gov. Larry Hogan with an award. In a short speech, Hogan gave the institute some credit for his path to the governorship. “For a long time, I’ve been passionately interested in the issues that the Maryland Public Policy Institute has been watching,” said Hogan, who served on the MPPI board. He said that led him to set up the advocacy group Change Maryland, which become the foundation for his campaign.
Persistent critics of the investment performance of Maryland’s $45 billion pension fund for state teachers and employees are again slamming the fund for failing to match the performance of other state pension systems, even though its 14.4% return was nearly twice as high as the fund’s target.
While much of the D.C. region has bounced back from the recession, certain segments of the population are benefitting from this recovery more than others, a new report. The report, “Bursting the Bubble” shows that mirroring a national trend, income inequality has been growing over the past few years in the D.C. Metro area, even during the economic recovery.
Two of Maryland’s free-market think tanks are again attacking the Maryland pension system for spending too much money on investment advisors who are not producing enough returns. But the State Retirement Agency says the advisors have helped it reach its benchmark investment goals.
Two Maryland think tanks are proposing that the state charge a license fee as high as $500 million for new National Harbor Casino, saying anything less, such as the current $18 million license fee, “would be a giveaway, corporate welfare, or taxpayer rip-off.”
Judge allows lawsuit blocking State Center to go forward; Institute refuses to rescind critical report of the project
A Baltimore judge has ruled that a lawsuit challenging the award of contracts to build State Center in midtown Baltimore will go forward, stopping construction of the $1.5 billion project until it is resolved.
While most of the focus on pension reform for public employees has been on the state as a whole, counties are also finding themselves with growing unfunded liabilities, according to a new interactive chart launched on Tuesday by the Maryland Public Policy Institute.
The pension map plots out the amount that each county and Baltimore City spent on pensions – both in benefits paid out and in the employer contribution – in the last fiscal year.
Legislators and advocates on the right and left are often at odds on policy, but a conference next week will bring divergent groups together on something they can all agree on: the need for greater openness and transparency in government.
The Maryland Public Policy Institute, along with the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, Progressive Maryland, and Community Research, are sponsoring a session Dec. 8 to discuss ways that the government can be more accountable to the people through increased disclosure of information.