States turn up the heat on ESG investing

At issue is whether mandates about environmental, social and governance investment strategies infringe upon a state fiduciary’s duty to maximize returns.

Is it time to stop worrying about pensions?

Public pension numbers are looking better than they have in over a decade. But some worry it may not last.

Can pensions help address growing wealth inequality?

A new report finds that pensions have significant impacts on household wealth, increasing net worth across race, gender and educational attainment.

How One State Is Confronting PTSD Among Police Officers

Concerns abound about post-traumatic stress disorder in law enforcement. Minnesota, where the problem is acute, has ideas about how to curb the costs and keep more police working in the field.

State & Local Roundup: The ESG Debate Hits a New Frenzy

Plus: Medicaid expansion marches on; Utah restricts social media for minors; More kids eat free; Development without displacement; and more news you can use from around the country.

Connect with state & local government leaders

State & Local Roundup: Bank Collapses Add to Worries for State and Local Officials

Plus: Lawmakers want to tighten SNAP work requirements; Conservatives continue DEI assault; A potential labor strike in L.A.; and more news you can use from around the country.

The Politics of ESG Investing

COMMENTARY | Leaders in conservative states are hesitant to adopt ESG-related principles. Are their positions purely political or substantive as well?

How a Bankrupt City’s Pension System Hit a Breaking Point

The case of Chester, Pennsylvania involves hidden debt, missing documentation and lots of blame. Route Fifty takes a closer look in this second installment of a three-part series.

Market Losses Deal Heavy Dent to State and Local Pensions

Last year saw unfunded liabilities for the nation’s largest public retirement plans climb by roughly a half-trillion dollars.

A Small City's Descent Into Bankruptcy

"By far the worst that we have encountered," is how one person involved in resolving the fiscal mess described it. This first article in a three-part series, looks at how the troubled city's situation resembles another municipal bankruptcy about a decade ago.

Borrowing to Backfill Public Pensions Makes a Comeback

Low interest rates made the potentially risky and often criticized practice more attractive. But then the stock market plummeted, complicating the outlook for some places that took on the debt.

State and Local Pensions Post Worst Losses Since Great Recession

The public sector retirement plans are in better overall shape than they were back in 2008. But some are still badly underfunded and many are gambling on riskier investments.

States Look at Pulling Pension Investments From Russia

The state response to Russia's attack on Ukraine could affect hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases, but the sums are modest compared to overall public pension assets.

State and Local Public Pension Plan Funding Up

The amount of money in government plans grew from 2020 to 2021 because of strong investment returns and required contributions, a new report shows.

Why More Public Pension Funds Are Investing in Cryptocurrencies

The barriers for state and local institutional investors entering the crypto market are come down, including a clearer regulatory framework and more industry scrutiny.

How Public Pensions Fared During a Year Marked by the Pandemic

An analysis shows no clear signs of severe damage last year to the funds, although the share meeting a funding benchmark did fall.

Cities Bet on Risky Borrowing Option to Bolster Pensions

With the cost to issue debt at record lows, there’s been an upswing in local governments turning to pension obligation bonds.

Mitigating the Cyber Threat to Retirement Systems

COMMENTARY | As retirement systems are a high-value target for cybercriminals, administrators need to implement security measures to bolster their cyber defenses.

State and Local Public Pension Funding Levels Steady—For Now

The outlook for the coming years is gloomier, as the coronavirus drags on the economy and strains governments’ finances.

Public Pensions Rally in Chaotic Stock Market, But Bigger Bills Still Coming for Governments

Pension earnings came up short this year. Eventually, that will require bigger contributions to make up the difference.