March 12, 2019
12 Mar 2019

Political Update – March 12, 2019

 

Two of the senators pushing PERS secrecy bill receive six-figure public pensions 

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

February 28, 2019

State Sens. David Parks and Joyce Woodhouse each receives a six-figure pension from the Public Employees’ Retirement System. Now, they’re co-sponsoring a bill to prevent you from finding out how much they and other retirees will collect going forward.

State law requires PERS to disclose retiree names, payouts and employment information such as years of service and last employer. You need these details to calculate the generosity of PERS payouts. This data is especially important because PERS says its unfunded liability is more than $13 billion. Using private-sector accounting, however, that number tops $40 billion. PERS is raising contribution rates this year to pay down that debt.

Sky-high payouts are a significant part of this problem. Rossi Ralenkotter, the disgraced former CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, retired last year. He’s now collecting a $284,000-a-year pension for life. Based on his salary history, it looks like he took a reduced pension to provide for a beneficiary in the case of his death.

Former Clark County School District superintendent Pat Skorkowsky retired last year with 30 years of service. His yearly pension is $238,000.

Former Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo earned $190,000 in base pay in 2017. His pension is worth $168,000 a year, which was more than 88 percent of his final year’s base pay. After “retiring” from government after just 27 years of service, he started working as vice president of security at Wynn Las Vegas.

David Noahr earned $157,000 in base pay working for the North Las Vegas police department in 2017. His yearly pension is now $177,000 a year, which is 113 percent of his last full year of base pay. Thomas Carroll retired as a chief deputy district attorney in 2018. His base pay was $161,000 in 2017. He now rakes in a yearly pension of $156,000, equivalent to 97 percent of his final salary.

Pension data comes from PERS via a public records request. PERS provided February 2019 payouts; yearly pensions are extrapolated from that. Salary data is from TransparentNevada.com.

This analysis reveals the generosity of PERS benefits, but it’s impossible to do without retiree names. Yet three state senators don’t want you to see this information.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Taxpayers, including PERS members themselves, serve as the ultimate backstop to the retirement system. They are the ones required to pay when there’s a shortfall, as they have been repeatedly over the last decade.”

Richard Karpel,
Executive Director of the Nevada Press Association,
to the Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs

Lawmakers again hear divisive proposal to keep public pension recipients’ names private

James DeHaven
Reno Gazette Journal

March 1, 2019

It could soon get a lot harder to find out who is receiving a public pension in Nevada.

A deeply divisive bill heard at the Legislature on Friday would make the names of retirees enrolled in the state-run Public Employees’ Retirement System confidential and exempt from public records requests.

Current state law requires PERS to disclose the type and amount of pension paid to retirees, as well as their name, last employer, years of service and years of retirement.  

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

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March 6, 2019
06 Mar 2019

Political Update – March 5, 2019

 

Study: Nevada local government employees fare better than counterparts in 45 states 

Bethany Blankley
Watchdog.org

March 1, 2019

Local government workers in Nevada earn 46 percent more than their private sector counterparts, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the median earnings for local government workers in Nevada were higher than their government peers in 45 other states.

Statewide, government salaries and benefits cost taxpayers about $10 billion last year, the Nevada Public Policy Institute (NPRI) says – totaling 80 percent of all tax revenue collected by every state and local government agency in Nevada.

“If Nevada’s government pay gap continues its upward growth, the resulting tax hikes necessary to sustain such excess may become too great to bear,” Robert Fellner, director of Policy at NPRI, said.

There are different ways to interpret the data, Fellner explained, and not all comparisons are equivalent.

When considering education, experience and other factors, the salaries of local government employees and private sector employees are nearly equivalent, Fellner said. However, when considering total compensation, local government employees fare better than their private sector counterparts.

According to the Census Bureau’s 2017 earnings estimates for the median full-time, year-round worker, the disparity between government and private sector employees in Nevada is the largest in the U.S. By this measure it is nearly six times greater than the 8 percent median state differential nationwide.

The median earnings for local government workers in Nevada in 2017 were $58,644; the median for their private sector employee counterparts was $40,259.

Nevada state government employees’ median income of $51,948 was nearly 13 percent less than that of local government employees, Fellner points out.

“Study results have found that Nevada government workers [both local and state] can make as much as 57 percent more than a private-sector worker in the same jobs thanks to the massively richer health and retirement benefits government workers receive,” Fellner says.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“If Nevada’s government pay gap continues its upward growth, the resulting tax hikes necessary to sustain such excess may become too great to bear.”

Robert Fellner,

NPRI Policy Director,
Watchdog.org
Mar 1, 2019

COMMENTARY: Collective bargaining for state government workers would bust the budget

Andrew G. Biggs
Special to the Review-Journal

March 2, 2019

In the coming days, the Legislature will consider whether to allow Nevada’s state government employees to collectively bargain. Right on time, the union-affiliated Economic Policy Institute has produced research purporting to show that Nevada state workers are underpaid. But that research is incorrect.

Nevada’s state government employees receive salaries slightly below private-sector levels, but benefits that are massively more generous. For most state employees, total compensation almost surely exceeds what they would receive in private-sector jobs.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

please add Info@KeystoneNevada.com to your address book or safe list.
Click here to unsubscribe 
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