Category: Finance

How to Navigate the Pension Landscape

Solvent pensions are crucial to local governments and the employees who serve them because they reduce financial instability. And the first step in reducing that instability is becoming informed. But navigating pension plans for your municipal workforce is no easy task. As several states have reformed their retirement systems since the Great Recession, it is

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For First Time in Seven Years, Cities Anticipate Revenue Decline

By Liz Farmer, fiscal policy expert and journalist In the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower, California, officials are getting the city budget ready for a slowdown by tightening spending and beefing up reserves. For the past five months, the state’s fiscal health index has been trending downward, a shift that Mayor Pro Tem Juan Garza

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Congress to Move on Cannabis Banking

The House plans to hold a vote this Wednesday on the NLC-backed SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595), a bill that would better allow financial institutions to provide banking and insurance services to cannabis related businesses. It is expected to pass the House under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote, limits time

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Top Local Workforce Challenges: Recruitment, Retention, Compensation

Having a stable job, and being able to retire comfortably, are part of the American dream. But because of complicating factors, such as a changing economic landscape and automation, these previously stalwart aspects of many careers have started to disappear. Unfortunately, local government jobs aren’t immune to these changes. But what exactly is happening, and

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Congress, It’s Time to Bring Back Advance Refunding Bonds

What can help local governments finance critical new infrastructure, help cities better-weather a recession and save local taxpayer money? It’s not a miracle, nor is it a novel concept. Up until the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, municipalities were able to use a tool known as advance refunding bonds to

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Three Things You Can Do to Help Your Residents Save for College

The rising cost of education and the impact student loan debt has on youth and families can stunt a person’s buying power significantly over time. Financial insecurity delays the purchasing of homes and pushes more parents to take on their children’s education debt—increasing their own financial instability further. But local leaders can help residents within

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Why the 2020 Budget Debate Indicates More Challenges for Cities

“The Budget devolves responsibility to State and local governments, which are better positioned to assess local community needs and address unique market challenges.” – The President’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, explaining the proposed elimination of the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership programs for the third straight year. The administration’s budget proposal

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Bipartisan Work Needed to Address Aging Infrastructure

This is a guest post by Bill Eller, Vice President, Business Development at HomeServe. He is responsible for working with municipalities to educate and develop the best program options for their residents. America’s aging infrastructure systems are in need of repair and restoration. President Trump issued a call for a bipartisan effort to address our

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Don’t Run Out of Money: Why Annuities Matter

Running out of money in retirement is a major concern for many American workers. The phenomenon is dubbed longevity risk because of the potential danger of exhausting one’s assets before death. A core objective of any retirement plan should be to provide lifetime income insurance in the form of an annuity, which provides pension benefit

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Retirement Plans Use Too Much Jargon, Say Employees

City governments, in their roles as employers, are striving to attract talent that can support the critical work of serving communities. However, the wages of state and local government employees tend to be lower than for private sector employees with similar backgrounds. So, how can municipal employers provide a more competitive alternative? One way is

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