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Friday, September 15, 2017
September 15, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:14 PM :: 1898 Views

Is Hawaii Safe in Light of North Korea's Missile and Nuclear Tests?

BLNR Telescope Hearing Set for Sept 20

Census: Hawaii Highest Rents in USA

Bloomberg: After Irma, America Should Scrap the Jones Act

GAO: Pearl Harbor Shipyard in Bad Shape

AG Chin: How a lobbyist for Corrections Corporation of America became the Left’s darling

Pension Spiking Costs Taxpayers $25M per year

CB:…a recent critical audit of a Honolulu trash collection service was the last straw for Manahan, who was elected to the City Council in 2012 and is now chairman of its Budget Committee.

Manahan has proposed a resolution that urges the council to “take steps to eliminate overtime abuse and pension spiking.” He calls for the city to “address any management complicity with such abuse.”…

And he also proposes that the council ask the Legislature to pass a law that would completely halt the practice of considering overtime pay when determining pension amounts for all employees.

Such a law was passed in 2012 — Manahan’s last year in the statehouse — but it only applied to workers hired after July 1, 2012.

Making it apply to everyone might present legal challenges because of public employee union contracts….

The Hawaii Employee Retirement System calculates pensions based on the average of an employee’s three years of highest salary. Pension spiking happens when employees work an inordinate amount of  overtime for three years to later inflate their pension.

When 2,125 public employees retired in fiscal year 2015, the ERS found that 447 of them had spiked their pensions — about 21 percent. The following fiscal year, 16 percent of the state’s 2,188 retirees were found to have spiked their pensions.

The ERS reviews the salaries of new retirees every year to watch for signs of pension spiking, and then bills the spikers’ employers for the additional costs. Not surprisingly, the City and County of Honolulu and the state have the largest number of spikers….

Hawaii’s retirement system billed Honolulu $8.7 million in FY 2016 and $9.7 billion in FY 2015 because of spiked pensions, according to ERS data.

Statewide these bills have averaged $20 to $25 million per year, in addition to the over $700 million government employers already pay each year for retirement benefits….

read … Pension Spiking Costs Taxpayers Millions

HART puts finishing touches on rail recovery plan on eve of deadline

KHON: …HART previewed the plan for the board Thursday.

“There’s so much debate on the reliability of that funding source. What’s your comfort level on that projection?” asked HART board member Wes Frysztacki.

“My comfort level is as good as… I could tell you in April when it comes in. If it hits $30 million, my comfort level is good for April,” replied HART CFO Robert Yu.

Half of the city’s $1.5 billion grant from the Federal Transit Administration is frozen unless and until federal officials approve the recovery plan and new financials.

Thursday also marked the first HART board meeting for new CEO Andrew Robbins, who started with the rail authority about a week ago….

read … HART puts finishing touches on rail recovery plan on eve of deadline

State’s records request rules changing

HTH: Changes are coming to Hawaii’s records and open meeting laws, affecting how people can find out about public meetings as well as how much they’ll pay for public records.

Changes to the Sunshine Law, governing public notice of meetings and meeting minutes, are legislated in Act 64, passed unanimously by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. David Ige earlier this year. It goes into effect July 1.

Also coming next year are administrative rule changes the state Office of Information Practices is drafting.

The state agency is making the rounds of the islands, giving government officials, clerks and the public a glimpse of changes that could include fee increases, a new definition of “vexatious requester” and new rules for individuals requesting their own personal records.

The new law requires state and county boards and commissions to make their meeting packets — the background material public officials receive before the meeting — available also to the public at the same time they’re distributed to the board. The packet can be in hard copy form located at the board’s office, although the boards also should make it electronically available “as soon as practicable,” under the law.

read … State’s records request rules changing

Welfare, Medicare and Marijuana: Internet Billionaire has a Plan for Your Life

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