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The Elephant in the Room: Unfunded Public Employee Health Care Benefits & GASB 45

Authors: Eric S. Berman, CPA, Deputy Comptroller, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Elizabeth K. Keating, CPA, Ph.D, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School, Harvard University This paper will review Statement 45’s potential impact on governments and review existing disclosures in financial reports as well as bond offering statements. The paper will discuss the Statement’s impact on budgets and governmental operations, including collective bargaining. Funding options under Statement 45 will be detailed, including the advantages and disadvan- tages of irrevocable trusts and OPEB bonds. The paper will also discuss the impact of Medicare Part D subsidies received by governments, as well as the bond rating implications of policy decisions surrounding OPEB. Finally, the paper will discuss case law that has already come […]

Leaving Money on the Table: The 106 Pension Funds of Massachusetts

Author: Ken Ardon The focus of this paper is the choice that local retirement boards have of managing their own investors or investing all or a portion of their assets in PRIT. Most local boards choose to retain control of their investments. In 2004, 55 out of the 104 local systems invested entirely on their own, 29 had some assets invested in PRIT or the PRIT seg- mentation program, and only 20 invested entirely with PRIT. Leaving Money on the Table: The 106 Pension Funds of Massachusetts

Long-Term Leasing of State Skating Rinks: A Competitive Contracting Success Story

Author: Susan Frechette This paper looks at the success of competitive contracting in addressing long-term cap- ital needs, reducing operating costs, and expanding access to state-owned skating rinks since the 1990s. It argues that the lessons learned from the experience can be applied notonly to other assets in recreation portfolio that are suffering from budget cuts and neglect, but also to many other services and activities that the Commonwealth has been performing directly. Long-Term Leasing of State Skating Rinks: A Competitive Contracting Success Story

Long-Term Leasing of State-Owned Skating Rinks: A Competitive Contracting Success Story

Author: Susan Frechette This paper looks at the success of competitive contracting in addressing long-term cap- ital needs, reducing operating costs, and expanding access to state-owned skating rinks since the 1990s. It argues that the lessons learned from the experience can be applied notonly to other assets in recreation portfolio that are suffering from budget cuts and neglect, but also to many other services and activities that the Commonwealth has been performing directly. Long-Term Leasing of State Skating Rinks: A Competitive Contracting Success Story

Regulation and the Rise of Housing Prices in Greater Boston: A study based on new data from 187 communities in eastern Massachusetts

This paper is part of the Initiative on Local Housing Regulation, a joint effort of the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research and Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. As part of this initiative, researchers at the Pioneer Institute and the Rappaport Institute have assembled and coded a database on zoning codes, subdivision requirements, and enviormental regulations that as of 2004 governed land use in 187 communities in eastern and central Massachusetts. The searchabl database is available at www.pioneerinst.wpengine.com/municipalregs/. The site also housing summary reports, analyses of the data, and a downloadable version in formats that can be used for economic analyses. In coming months, Pioneer Institute and the Rappaport Institute will also be issuing papers and policy briefs, […]