First, the Good News

1) National: After year of organizing and pressure, labor and equity standards are coming into federal funding. In the Public Interest’s Communications Director Jeff Hagan reports that “the $2 trillion in infrastructure funding that will flow to communities from the federal government over the next decade will build and repair more than the nation’s roads and bridges, thanks to new guidelines fought for by the Local Opportunities Coalition and announced by the Biden administration on April 4, 2024. It has the power to transform America’s communities…

“The language in the Office of Management and Budget’s new “uniform grants guidance” ensures “that a variety of pro-community, pro-equity, and pro-worker policy tools are not prohibited by the guidance, thus allowing states and localities to utilize practices in their contracting that had previously been prohibited or unclear,” according to the coalition, which put together a memo highlighting some of the most important updates to the guidance. In announcing the changes, the White House said the updates will streamline and clarify requirements for $1.2 trillion of annual Federal funding.”

To help people understand what the new language means, the Local Opportunities Coalition and Jobs to Move America (JMA) are co-hosting a webinar on May 2nd with Rutgers Workplace Justice Lab. Register here. [Read the Implementation Memorandum]

2) National: The new IRS direct tax filing pilot program is receiving great reviews. “The program surpassed the Treasury’s goal of 100,000 users, received positive user ratings, and saved taxpayers money. (…) Direct File also allowed the IRS to test a large-scale live-chat feature. Direct File customer service representatives (CSRs) handled tens of thousands of chats with an average wait time of one minute and an Average Handle Time of 9 minutes. (…) The Treasury and IRS will continue to analyze results of the pilot before deciding on the future of Direct File in the coming weeks.”

3) National: At the end of 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that “a collection of public-policy groups during a meeting … urged the Biden administration to expand anti-money-laundering rules to cover private investment advisers, calling private-equity vehicles and hedge funds a vulnerability in the nation’s efforts to prevent criminals and adversaries from gaining access to the nation’s financial system. ‘The U.S. can’t address corruption unless it attacks money laundering in all its forms, and that includes private equity,’ Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) said in recorded remarks presented at the meeting.”

Well a few weeks ago, a group of seven U.S. Senators answered the call by coming together to support the U.S. Treasury Department’s new Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) proposed rule to require investment advisers to abide by anti-money laundering (AML) rules similar to what banks do. This is likely to set off a lobbying frenzy. While the lobbying reporting isn’t in yet, last year the financial crimes lobbying industry was very active. Read the very interesting Fact Sheet: Anti-Money Laundering Program and Suspicious Activity Report Filing Requirements for Registered Investment Advisers and Exempt Reporting Advisers Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The Financial Times has put its finger on a particularly important example of how a politically powerful industry in municipal government and beyond will be affected. In February, “officials at the Treasury department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced transparency requirements for American residential real estate. For a long time, this sector has acted as a sponge for questionable finance, transforming kleptocratic wealth into stable, appreciating assets. Those days will soon be behind us. US officials announced they would be ending a decades-long loophole that absolved real estate professionals from basic anti-money laundering checks. Now, those sealing real estate deals—including attorneys—will have to identify the people behind previously anonymous purchases.” [Sub required]

4) National: Pressure is growing on the U.S. Postal Service governing board to do something about Trump appointee Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s plan to overhaul the mailing agency’s operations.  A group of Democratic senators say the 10-year blueprint to improve USPS finances and efficiency is failing. “While postal leadership has repeatedly defended its Delivering for America plan and said it needs more time to realize the benefits of its pricing, network and workforce reforms, the seven senators, led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said the changes are actively harming the Postal Service and its customers.”

5) National: The federal government has approved a rule “that will ban the vast majority of noncompete clauses by U.S. employers, which have long prevented workers from switching jobs or setting out on their own,” says the NY Daily News. “In doing so, the agency did its duty to protect American economic dynamism and opportunity. We hope that’s the clear conclusion of the courts that will now rule on lawsuits by corporate interests that strenuously support this anticompetitive practice as a way to keep their employees from seeking opportunities outside their own corporate walls.” FTC Chair Lina Khan “referenced some of these situations when discussing the ban, pointing to workers who had written public comments noting that they had been prevented from leaving workplaces they didn’t like or found abusive. It’s also the case that the era of most workers building entire careers at a single company, climbing the ranks, is practically over.”

6) National: Federal funding is advancing critical dam removal projects, says American Rivers. Brian Graber, senior director for river restoration at American Rivers, says, “This federal funding is fueling great momentum for healthy rivers across the country. We applaud the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Interagency Fish Passage Task Force for their commitment to advancing locally-driven, community-supported restoration efforts. Our rivers face serious threats, but the good news is that rivers can heal. There are hundreds of thousands of dams in the U.S. and up to 85 percent of dams in our country are unnecessary, harmful, and even dangerous. That is why American Rivers is prioritizing removing 400 dams by 2027 and kickstarting the removal of 30,000 dams by 2050. Removing a dam is the single most impactful way to secure a river’s future health. American Rivers is also working to improve operations of dams that should remain in place.”

7) National: Let’s hear it for good journalism. Brian Barth, writing in the Guardian, reports that public spending on private sweep contractors of homeless camps is soaring across the state—and unhoused people allege poor treatment. “Pete White, the founder of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a homeless advocacy group based in Skid Row, says he’s observed a steady increase in the privatization of sweeps in recent years. ‘The growth of a private industry geared towards removing and dismantling informal settlements and houseless encampments has grown steadily in Los Angeles and across the country,’ said White. “Not only are we seeing a growth in the loss of property, but also the loss of rights.’ Litigants in ongoing or recent court cases allege that the destruction of belongings in sweeps violates the fourth amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and the 14th amendment, which guarantees due process under the law. A case currently before the US supreme court also argues that laws banning homeless people from camping or sleeping in public spaces violate the eighth amendment, which safeguards against ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ by government actors.” This story was produced by the Guardian in partnership with Type Investigationswith support from the Wayne Barrett Project.

8) Minnesota: Acting in the public interest, the Minneapolis City Council has refused to be bullied by rideshare corporations. “Over the past few years, there has been a wave of protest and organizing by rideshare drivers who are fed up with shrinking paychecks and arbitrary ‘deactivations’ (essentially being fired without so much as a conversation with a human) that leave people unable to cover the bills and look after their families. But nearly every time drivers get close to winning legislation to set higher standards, Uber and Lyft pull out the same argument: that higher pay would make rides unaffordably expensive.” This time that didn’t work. But “Uber is turning to the statehouse, which could pass legislation banning the Minneapolis ordinance. Minnesota lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz (D) have a choice: Will they give in to Uber’s threats and allow Uber and Lyft to keep paying poverty wages, or will they follow Minneapolis’s lead and raise standards for drivers across the state (and perhaps even create a public alternative to Uber and Lyft)?”

PowerSwitch Action says “Uber is throwing a fit in Minneapolis over paying drivers fairly. We’ve studied their tacticssince 2018 & found it’s part of a larger pattern.”

9) Mississippi: Thanks to a federal judge, residents of Jackson will have a say in how the city resolves its yearslong water crisis. Grist’s Lylla Younes provides an excellent and timely update on the Jackson water saga. “Act. A seat at the table of the legal proceedings, the advocates hope, will allow the city’s residents to have a say in rebuilding their infrastructure and also ward off privatization. The saga in Jackson reflects a wider problem affecting public utilities across the country, with cash-strapped local governments turning to corporations to make badly needed repairs to water treatment plants, distribution pipes, and storage systems, a course that often limits transparency and boxes locals out of the decision-making. ‘This isn’t a uniquely Jackson problem,’ said Brooke Floyd, co-director of the Jackson People’s Assembly at the People’s Advocacy Institute. ‘We need ways for all these cities that need infrastructure repairs to get clean water to their communities.’”

10) Missouri: From the Missouri Workers Center. “CYMI: In a huge win for poor and working Kansas Citians, we overwhelmingly defeated the @Royals 40-year corporate handout ballot measure on Tuesday! By crushing Question 1, we put the needs of Kansas City’s working class above the priorities of billionaires.”

11) Montana: Federal environmental law still has teeth. “The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and its co-Plaintiff, Native Ecosystems Council, have prevailed in stopping the Middleman project in Montana’s Big Belt Mountains, which was yet another massive and illegal Forest Service 20-year logging and burning project in western Montana. We believe the Forest Service settled the case because the agency had again violated a number of federal laws – including the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.”

12) Louisiana: Is the school privatization industry losing its grip on its favorite Petri dish? “For the first time in nearly 20 years, a district-run public school will return to the city of New Orleans. It’s currently known as Lafayette Academy but will be re-named as the ‘Leah Chase School’ for the 2024-25 school year. ‘One of the things that makes it extra special is for the school to be named after Leah Chase. For it to be another opportunity to honor her legacy,’ NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Avis Williams said.”

The Times-Picayune reports that “New Orleans’ school board wants its old job back. For several years the Orleans Parish School Board’s main responsibility has been to keep watch over the city’s independently operated charter schools. But now the elected board is ready to reclaim its historic role: running schools of its own, starting with one this fall and continuing with more district-run schools in the future. The board hinted at its growing ambitions last month when it urged the superintendent to open a new school to replace a struggling charter school. But at a meeting on Tuesday the board went a step further, asking the superintendent to develop a long-term plan for putting even more schools under district management.”

13) International/United Kingdom: Barron’s reports that Britain’s Labour opposition is vowing to renationalize the railways, which have staggered along for years under a hodgepodge of private operators as service declined and fares rose. “‘We will establish Great British Railways—a single, directing mind to control our railways in the passenger interest,’ said Labour’s transport spokeswoman Louise Haigh. (…) Haigh said that transitioning to public ownership would save money by cutting out franchise bidding costs, while still leaving a role for the private sector. Her announcement was welcomed by trade unions and echoes a similar policy announced by hard-left former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.”

Trade unions have called for [rolling stock companies] to be nationalized too, labelling them a drag on the railway, pointing out they have paid £1.5bn in dividends to their owners since 2016. [Sub required]. Watch this turbulent debate on privatization between prominent labor leader RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch and a TV talking head. [Video, about 9 minutes]

The 2017 Labour Manifesto that Corbyn ran on says “Labour will prioritise public service over private profit. And we will start by bringing our railways back into public ownership, as franchises expire or, in other cases, with franchise reviews or break clauses. We will introduce a Public Ownership of the Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways. In public ownership, we will deliver real improvements for passengers by capping fares, introducing free wi-fi across the network, ensuring safe staffing levels, ending the expansion of driver only operations, and introducing legal duties to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.”

14) International/Canada: The University of Prince Edward Island has launched a $15-million fundraising campaign to revitalize the Robertson Library. “The library is at the very heart of a university’s educational and research mission, the one institution on campus that serves everyone: faculty, students, staff, researchers, the general public,” said Dr. Edward MacDonald, a professor of history. “The excellence of a university is closely tied to the excellence of its library’s resources and staffing. As UPEI grows, the library, too, needs to grow. I can’t think of a more appropriate way to support UPEI than by helping make an excellent library even better.”


15) National/New Book: Via Jennifer Berkshire: “Some straight talk from an influential school privatization group here: the goal isn’t to get kids out of *failing schools* but to prop up failing churches.” Channeling Josh Cowen, Professor and author of The Privateers: How Billionaires Created a Culture War and Sold School Vouchers (Harvard Education Press, September 2024).

16) National: The right wing is waxing hysterical about education secretary Cardona tightening Title IX regs. Education Week reports that “In the week since the U.S. Department of Education finalized a rule on the rights of transgender students under Title IX, education leaders in at least five states have urged school districts to ignore it—and activist groups are pressing conservative governors to challenge the directive in federal court. (…) If districts honor the new rule, they risk legal repercussions and political fallout from defying their states. But if they ignore the Education Department’s interpretation of federal law, they risk a civil rights investigation, which comes with the threat of lost federal funding if they cannot reach a resolution. ‘It is what I call an untenable position,’ said Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. the founder and CEO of K12Counsel, a school law advocacy and policy firm. ‘It’s clear that, in some jurisdictions at least, schools are going to have to make a decision about which set of rules to follow—with some very consequential outcomes.’”

17) California: Dan Walters of CalMatters looks at the intensifying battle over charter schools in light of tightening budgets. “LA Unified now bars charters from sharing space in schools considered to be serving vulnerable students, affecting more than a third of LAUSD’s 850 campuses. Its immediate effect was to force about 21 charter schools to find new quarters. This month, an even more direct assault on the charter school movement surfaced in the Legislature when the Senate Education Committee approved legislation, backed by the California School Boards Association and school unions, that would make it more difficult for new charter schools to gain approval.

Current law, enacted three decades ago, basically favors the creation of charter schools unless an affected school district can prove that it would be economically devastating or is already in receivership due to financial problems.

Senate Bill 1380 would expand the ability of school districts to claim financial hardship as a reason for rejecting charter applications within their districts. It would also effectively repeal a current law allowing charters rejected by a district to seek approval by a county board of education.”

18) California: “Leaders of America’s Finest Charter School in San Diego may shut down their own high school by June because of under-enrollment—and the school’s staff and families just learned about it last week,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “Community members suggested Wednesday potential budget solutions the school could try before resorting to closure, some of which staff said they have already been working on. Those include tapping into potential feeder elementary charter schools nearby, applying for grants, spreading the word at community fairs and rec centers and improving the school’s website.” What else? How about this doozy: “The school could also sell its high school building and use district buildings at a cheaper cost, since state law requires districts to make facilities available to charter schools.”

19) Florida: The Duval County public school system is in crisis due to the end of a federal assistance program and the growth of school vouchers. 700+ positions could be lost. “The district said it is primarily funded through state and local sources based on the number of students it serves. However, the district noted that homeowners are taxed based on the projected number of students being served in all forms of public education, including private school vouchers, charter schools and traditional schools. Primarily due to the increase in private school vouchers, the number of funded students (including private school and charter school students) in Duval County has increased from about 130,000 in 2019-20 to an estimated 142,000 in 2024-25, the district said. But those numbers are misleading, the district said. ‘While the total number of funded students has increased, the district’s share for traditional schools has decreased from about 108,000 in 2019-20 to a projection of 98,000 next year.’”

20) Pennsylvania: Rallies in Philadelphia and Norristown call for more funding of public schools and denounce school vouchers for eating into the public education system. Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro is supports vouchers, but  State Representative Roni Green, a Democrat from Philadelphia said, ‘I’m here to say no. No to vouchers, no to entitlements designed to dismantle our public schools.’ Members of organized labor stood shoulder to shoulder with Democratic state representatives, the leaders of teachers’ unions, clergy and parents. They gathered as the Pennsylvania legislature grapples with the governor’s budget proposal and faces a Commonwealth court ruling finding the way Pennsylvania funds its public schools ‘unconstitutional,’ or short-changing schools in larger, often poorer communities. But, the target was school vouchers. State Representative Ismail Smith-Wade-El, Democrat of Lancaster County said, ‘I’m here to say no to Pennsylvania’s richest people deciding they would rather have a few more of our tax dollars in their pockets than our kids be alive.”

21) Tennessee: The Tennessee Holler reports that an out-of-state privatization lobbyist mad that Governor Bill Lee’s voucher scam died “tells Fox that pro-public school folks ‘will lose the war.’ We knew Lee and his billionaire lobbyists had declared war on our public schools—but it’s nice when they say it out loud for us like this.”

22) Texas: The charter schools are eating their own. A Fort Worth charter school is to close in August. “Since 2008, the education landscape in Fort Worth has grown to include 15 charter systems in addition to 12 school districts, a growing homeschool population and more than 30 private schools. Charter schools are public schools in Texas and receive funding based on attendance. Fewer students in class means fewer dollars from the state. As enrollment increased, so did Chapel Hill Academy’s spending. During its first decade, the school mostly had a balanced budget and even had excess revenues. However, the school started to spend more than its revenue starting in the 2017-18 academic year, financial data from TEA shows. Higher expenses resulted in the school spending more per student.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that “after 16 years, it will close its doors on Aug. 31 due to the increase of other charter schools in the area and the decrease in Chapel Hill Academy’s enrollment starting in 2019, officials said.”

23) Virginia: Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, who ran for office on a what some considered a racist education platform, is pushing for a school “accountability system” that is being called “test and punish,” and is trying to set up “lab schools” for $100 million that as originally budgeted would take money out of the public schools. “Test and punish,” critics say, is “designed to cast schools, esp under-resourced & in poorer communities, as failures so they’re ripe for state takeover & privatization.”


24) National: The Federal Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is looking to improve disclosure for infrastructure projects, the Bond Buyer reports. “The update contained a lengthy list of tentative decisions including the definition of what classifies as infrastructure. Roads, bridges, tunnels, drainage systems, water and sewer systems, dams, lighting systems, and communication networks are on the list. Buildings come with a caveat. ‘Only buildings that are part of network of assets used to provide a particular type of public service should be considered infrastructure assets.’ GASB is also taking a long look at depreciation methods.” [Sub required]

New standards for transparency and public purpose will be required, Thomson Reuters reported in January. “The other final standard coming on disclosure and classification of certain capital assets, is smaller in scope but will significantly improve capital asset note disclosures. The board proposed the changes in September 2023. The standard takes the current capital asset disclosure and will require a breakout in that note disclosure of certain types of capital assets that are unique, such as capital assets that are held-for-sale or certain right-to-use intangible assets that are capital assets that are a little different in substance.”

25) National: “With about 94% of the $55 billion of federal funding from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the country’s water and wastewater needs yet to be disbursed,” the Bond Buyer says, “issuers may not need much in the way of municipal bonds for water infrastructure, analysts said.” The obvious question is why then would they need even more expensive private money that comes with P3s?

Project delivery is still rolling out slowly. “The slowness in distributing the funds is less related to need than the Build America, Buy America provision, which dictates the use of U.S.-produced materials, he said. Disbursement has also been delayed by the increased costs of materials, projects, and labor and by the placing of earmarks on the use of funds. The infrastructure law will provide funds through federal fiscal year 2026, with most of its benefit for water systems expected in the future, Tisdale said.” [Sub required]

26) Maryland: Baltimore leaders are accusing the ship’s owner and manager of negligence in the Key Bridge’s collapse. “Baltimore leaders argue the ship’s owner and manager should be held responsible for their role in the disaster, which has halted most maritime traffic through the Port of Baltimore and disrupted an important east coast trucking route. The economic impacts could be devastating for the Baltimore region, the filing says. “Petitioners’ negligence caused them to destroy the Key Bridge, and singlehandedly shut down the Port of Baltimore, a source of jobs, municipal revenue, and no small amount of pride for the City of Baltimore and its residents,” the attorneys wrote. Lawyers representing victims of the collapse and their families also have pledged to hold the companies accountable and oppose their request for limited liability.” The city is also suing to block the shipowner’s liability cap.

27) International/Canada: Ellen Bees and Melanie Janzen of People for Public Education examine the perils of outsourcing education. “One response to underfunding is the appeal of Private-Public Partnerships, or P3s, in which the cost of major capital expenses are shared between public and private institutions. The government has signalled that they will be distancing themselves from P3 approaches to building new schools — a move which we applaud. In many cases, the construction of schools using P3s is more expensive in the long run than building schools through public financing, as auditors-general found in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. While the allure of P3s and their purported reduced expenses are tempting, [they result in increased costs] and are not in the interest of the public good.”

28) International/Canada: Will the entity that runs Hamilton’s rail system be public or private? “Last week, councilors voted in favour to allow a third party to operate and maintain the rail system for a decade, and then transition public workers five years in. After facing push back, council ratified the plan in a 9-to-7 vote Wednesday. But, union reps and advocates are calling on Horwath to take action. ‘A publicly owned and operated LRT system is something I have always believed in and fought for. As mayor, I firmly believe that this two-step approach will enshrine the HSR as the operator of the Hamilton LRT for the next 150 years and beyond,’ Horwath told CHCH News in a statement. The national president for the Amalgamated Transit Union, John Di Nino questions the private sector’s ability to provide a reliable and affordable service.”

29) International/United Kingdom: Cracks are showing in Thames Water’s financial plumbing, the Financial Timesreports. “The supposedly bulletproof capital structure used to finance Thames Water isn’t looking so solid.

The finances backing the UK’s largest water utility and much of the country’s crucial infrastructure are structured in a way that’s supposed to keep some bondholders shielded from impairment. But that’s quickly starting to unravel. A default in the private utility’s parent company Kemble has leaked through to what were thought to be ‘gold standard’ bonds securitized at Thames Water’s regulated operating companies.” [Sub required]. The sharks are circling, the London Timesreports. “The government has drawn up contingency plans for a possible “special administration regime” for Thames, in which the utility would be temporarily nationalised and the government would plough in money to keep it functioning. However, that could also mean taxpayers would be the first to be paid from any proceeds from Thames, rather than private lenders.” [Sub required[

Public Services

30) National/International: Yesterday in the U.S. was Workers’ Memorial Day and the National Day of Mourning in Canada. Watch this video: “Remembering Our Fallen Heroes.” The Edmonton Fire Rescue Services says “165 Albertan workers lost their lives and 86 Canadian firefighters died in the line of duty or from job-related illnesses in 2023. Today, our flags fly at half-mast as we pause and remember all who’ve lost their lives or suffered injury/illness due to their work.”

31) National: Reports of mediocre disability exams by VA contractors have prompted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to demand answers. “In a letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pushed for answers by May 14 to an array of questions about VA compensation and pension exams done by private contractors in light of “multiple complaints” she said she received about the quality of exams both in her home state and across the country. ‘For example, constituents have reported to my office that contractor examiners failed to review service treatment records of veterans prior to their appointments, and shredded medical questionnaires instead of adding them to medical files as evidence because’ VA policy doesn’t allow examiners to add anything to veterans’ medical records, she wrote in the letter obtained by Military.com ahead of its public release. ‘They have indicated that contractors directed veterans to meet them for exams outside of medical facilities, including co-working offices, broom closets and hotel rooms.’”

32) National: Route Fifty has four key takeaways from the federal open records process.

  • Collect and report data to pinpoint areas of improvement
  • Proactively publish frequently sought after information to reduce requests
  • Automate manual tasks with machine learning
  • Compare notes with other agencies

33) California: State legislative hearings looked into public service issues, the Cal Labor Fed reports. “The California Labor Federation, SEIU California, and AFSCME delivered testimony before the State Assembly’s Public Employment and Retirement Committee (PERC) regarding the crisis facing the state’s public services sector, alongside policy experts from the UC Berkeley Labor Center, safety-net services advocates from End Poverty California, and workers representing public employee unions UAPD, AFSCME Local 146, and SEIU Local 721. Under the direction of Chair Tina McKinnor, (AD-61) PERC members were informed of record vacancy rates of up to 30% across the state, and came to understand the adverse impact on public services that these vacancies, and the accompanying push to outsource public sector jobs and replace human service providers altogether.”

34) Oklahoma: Corporate irresponsibility costs taxpayers money. According to a study by the Oklahoma Rural Association, borrowing costs rose in the wake of Oklahoma’s anti-ESG law. “The study released Monday by the Oklahoma Rural Association comes as state lawmakers are considering changes to the 2022 Energy Discrimination Elimination Act. Travis Roach, chair of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Economics Department, who conducted the study, found that over the approximately 17 months the law has been in effect, about $4.6 billion of municipal bonds were issued at higher coupon rates relative to borrowings in four states without a similar law. As a result, Oklahoma municipalities incurred an estimated $184.7 million in additional expenses.”

35) International/Australia: Australia’s long troubled privatized Centrelink job seeking service has received another reputational black eye from one of its own former employees. “Prof. Jo Ingold of the Peter Faber business school at the Australian Catholic University said the system did not work for jobseekers, providers or employees. ‘It is … obviously very stressful and horrible for somebody to go through effectively having their payments suspended because they’re not providing information that … it is within their right not to provide,’ she said. ‘But then the providers desperately scramble to get evidence to meet their claim for the outcome payment. It’s just a crazy system that doesn’t work for anyone.’” One client said “[they’re] just money hungry. They don’t really want [to help] me unless they can get their outcome payment.”

All the Rest

36) Mississippi: The state employee retirement system is facing a cash flow problem. “Friday the Mississippi Senate fast-tracked a bill that would change the employer contribution rate for Mississippi’s Public Employee Retirement System, also known as PERS. The first part of a phased increase is set to take effect in July with a 2% raise in employer contributions. Senate Bill 3231 would change that to a 1/2% increase this July and again every July through 2028. It’s just another example of how state lawmakers and the board elected to oversee the retirement system aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on how to fix the PERS cash flow problem.”

Image Credit: TheFrog001, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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