GFOA is always on the lookout for news items that will be useful for finance professionals, research that might help you do your job better, and legal and regulatory updates you need to know about. Check the GFOA news page for the updates and any relevant GFOA announcements, and see the GFOA Newsletter archive for back issues of our weekly electronic newsletter.
Municipalities plans for sustainability vary widely, but there are a number of steps most local governments can take to improve their strategies for urban development, according to Triple Pundit.
On January 31, 2014, the GFOA provided comments to three federal agencies about proposed regulations that could harm state and local government debt issuers. The proposal is intended to make banks more resilient and capable of weathering periods of fiscal stress without direct government intervention by requiring banks to maintain a designated level of high-quality liquid assets. As drafted, however, the proposal fails to classify municipal securities as high-quality liquid assets.
Many public-sector organizations across the country have limited or reduced part-time employment to less 30 hours a week to avoid providing them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to the New York Times. Although coverage requirements are to be eased for larger employers, employers 2015 obligations will be based on the hours employees work in 2014.
Eleven states are taking steps to make prices for health-care services available to the public, in an effort to make it possible for consumers to shop for lower-cost providers and services. Colorado is working to create an all-payer claims database containing information from every receipt for a health-care service provided in the state, according to the Washington Post.
As many local governments have reduced the level of pension benefits they provide to new hires, the importance of boosting savings through supplemental retirement plans has grown, yet very little is known about these plans.
State pensions reached an average funded level of 75% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, up three points from the previous year, according to Wilshire Consulting, which cites the funds exposure to equities the S&P 500 index rose 30% in 2013. This is the highest funding level since 2008, when it was at 81%, according to Bloomberg, which noted that the 10-year peak was 95% in 2007, while the low was 64% in 2009. Pension assets grew to $2.12 trillion in 2013.
On August 1, 2014, the SEC’s Enforcement Division announced an extension of the deadline for state and local government issuers to participate in the commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative from September 10, 2014 to December 1, 2014. The deadline for underwriters to participate was not extended beyond September 10, 2014 (view the SEC press re
GFOA offers numerous training events for members to earn CPE credits.