This week’s Bad Bill of the Week focuses on a bill just approved by a Senate committee yesterday. Here is a sample:
Gamblers on a losing streak often resort to desperately making riskier bets to try to make up for their previous losses – a move that rarely pays off and which usually leaves them even poorer.
Senate Bill 558, Treasurer’s Investments, appears to mimic the risky behavior of the desperate gambler. Sponsored by Sen. Ralph Hise (R-McDowell) and strongly supported by State Treasurer Janet Cowell, this bill would allow the Treasurer to engage in more risky investments with the state’s $78 billion pension fund. The bill was just approved by the Senate Committee on Pensions and Retirement and Aging.
This dilemma underscores a larger point: North Carolina’s pension system needs to be reformed. Rather than consolidating so much power in the hands of the State Treasurer and exposing taxpayers to billions of dollars worth of risk, state government workers should be shifted to a defined-contribution (or 401k-style) retirement system in which each worker controls his or her own retirement fund, and taxpayers are no longer exposed to any risk.