Auditor General offers to take over PERC’s municipal pension-related functions

Auditor General offers to take over PERC’s municipal pension-related functions

In a response to an open letter from Public Employee Retirement Commission executive director James McAneny Thursday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said his department would willing to take over PERC’s municipal pension-related functions should the commission no longer be able to operate.

Since the December 2015 line-item veto of a Republican-crafted budget proposal, PERC has been without an operating budget and the commission was notified this week that its functions would be terminated and its employees would lose their jobs with the commission.

Thursday, February 4, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Auditor General bangs the drum on municipal pension reform

Auditor General bangs the drum on municipal pension reform

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale once again spoke on the need for municipal pension reform at a Capitol news conference Tuesday, pointing out the problem is likely worse than the $7.7 billion unfunded liability identified in his latest municipal pension report.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
With General Fund almost out of money, Treasury opens up $2 billion credit line to keep cash flowing

With General Fund almost out of money, Treasury opens up $2 billion credit line to keep cash flowing

For the second time in 16 months, Pennsylvania’s Treasury has had to open up a credit line in order to ensure the state’s General Fund cash balance does not drop below zero and state money can keep flowing out to those who need it.

According to a news release from the Pennsylvania Treasury, the General Fund was in danger of falling $922 million in the red next week as money is sent to those relying on state funds after the governor’s line-item veto of a budget plan allowed its expenditure.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

As budget impasse effects continue to be felt, another funding effort fails

As legislators Wednesday learned about the impact of the state budget impasse on schools and the Auditor General continued to provide updates on the costs of the budget impasse to Pennsylvania’s school districts, the Senate failed to gain the two-thirds majority needed to override the governor’s veto of a stopgap funding measure passed in September.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee began Wednesday’s budget-related discussions by hearing from schools on the impact of the ongoing state budget.

"Every day, the negative impact on school districts becomes more widespread," said William LaCoff, president of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association in written testimony. "In short, many districts are exhausting their options in order to keep the school doors open despite the missing state funds."

Their position was buttressed by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who continued to sound the alarm bell on the amount of borrowing schools are having to do in order to make ends meeting during the now 120-day budget impasse.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Auditor General: School districts feel like the Department of Education does not help them

Auditor General: School districts feel like the Department of Education does not help them

In releasing a much anticipated performance audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the state Board of Education Tuesday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said a culture within the department has existed over the last several years that leaves local school districts feeling as though they have been forgotten.

DePasquale pointed out his audit revealed—among other things—that PDE has left 561 academically challenged schools (with around 310,000 students) without adequate support.

“It is absolutely stunning…that basically, the Department of Education is overlooking some Title 1 schools and every poor performing school that is not Title 1,” he said. “It does worry me that it appears the department is doing the bare minimum to get by.”

Along with the failure to provide adequate support, the audit found three other major failures, including the lack of an updated master plan from the State Board, poor hiring practices with regard to annuitants, and a failure to monitor special advisors and assistants.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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