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April 26, 2017 / jimnv

Excellent article: RGJ’s editorial on Nevada PERS privacy misguided: Jack Harris

Here is an excellent article responding to the Reno Gazette Journal’s editorial about PERS information being made public:

“RGJ’s editorial on Nevada PERS privacy misguided: Jack Harris”




April 8, 2017 / jimnv

Snowball’s Chance in Hell

A state employee collective bargaining bill has been submitted this session (SB 486) and it was heard on April 7, 2017. Unfortunately it will fail like all the previous bills proposing collective bargaining.

SB 486 would require the executive branch to negotiate wages and benefits.

It is unlikely the bill will make it to the governor’s desk and if it does, he will most certainly veto it. A veto override would be unlikely during the next legislative session in 2019.

State employees make 25 to 30 percent less than a county employee.  State employee wages are quite low and some employees are undoubtedly on public assistance. It is not what I want but it seems Nevada’s political and business masters don’t see a problem with this. The disparity will continue o grow and in 10 years,what then? Very small cost of living increases, though appreciated will never help that much.

The 1977 legislature gave state employees a cross the board 15 percent pay increase because wages fell so far behind. That 15 percent helped with the cost of living deficit but state employees were still way behind.

The legislature and the governor think state employees as second class citizens to do with as they please.

This is shameful and must stop.

This bill died.





April 7, 2017 / jimnv

Confidentiality for Retirees

Because a person is a public employee does not mean their right to privacy goes away. Too many think it should. In 2013 the Nevada Supreme Court ruled retiree benefit information was public.

The Legislature is processing a bill (SB 384) which would improve the privacy protections for retired public employees. The bill would clarify what information about retired employees would be public and names would be confidential.

The bill as introduced. The committee’s amended version has not been posted. The hearing was held on April 5, 2017.

Hopefully, the bill will become law. It now goes to the State Senate for discussion and vote.

This bill was vetoed by the governor on June 3, 2017

Bill history:


March 2, 2017 / jimnv

Charter Agency Threat

SB 4 proposes that any executive branch agency can be designated by the governor as a “charter agency”. The bill states any agency designated as a charter agency would operate under different rules and all employees of the agency would become unclassified and subject to removal at any time and presumably for any or no reason. There would no longer be civil service protections and this bill if it becomes law, would inject extreme politics into the operation of any or all state agencies.

For example, if you become an employee of a charter agency, you could be fired for being in a political party the governor or his executive director does not like.

The bill started its path last November. There is no name attached to the bill which is typical of a dishonest politician who craves secrecy over transparent democracy.

The following paragraphs give the reader some idea of what is being proposed:

Sec. 2. 1. The Governor, by executive order, may designate or rescind the designation of any department established by law  within the Executive Department of the State Government as a  charter agency. Such a designation or rescission must not become effective until the next following July 1.  One year after the effective date of the designation of a department as a charter agency, all employees of the department become employees in the unclassified service of the State.

The Governor, by executive order, may designate  or rescind the designation of any department established by law within the Executive Department of the State Government as a  charter agency. Such a designation or rescission must not become  effective until the next following July 1. One year after the effective date of the designation of a department as a charter agency, all employees of the department become employees in the unclassified service of the State.

Emphasis is mine.

This bill died April 16, 2017.

February 28, 2017 / jimnv

Number of State Employees-2017

Agency 02/07/11 02/27/17
Administration 238 512
Agriculture 159 195
Attorney General’s Office 325 301
Business and Industry 595 581
Charter School Authority 11
Colorado River Commission 35 33
Conservation and Natural Resources 624 641
Controllers Office 40 41
Corrections 2,637 2,603
Cultural Affairs 126 111
DeferredCompensation 2
Economic Development Commission 24 40
Education 144 156
Employment, Training and Rehabilitation 1,116 820
Ethics Commission 6
Gaming Control Board 342 290
Governor’s Office 48 67
Health and Human Services 4,670 5,536
Information Technology 122 Under Admin
Judicial Discipline Commission 3 5
Legislative Counsel Bureau 284 287
Lieutenant Governor’s Office 4 5
Military (National Guard) 118 124
Mineral Resources Commission 10 10
Motor Vehicles 1,080 1,167
Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission (POST) 17 15
Personnel 78 Under Admin
Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP) 31 30
Public Employees Retirement Program (PERS) 65 65
Public Safety 809 1,364
Public Utilities Commission 91 88
Secretary of State 114 115
Silver State Insurance 13
Supreme Court 136 268
Taxation 312 354
Tourism 0 111
Transportation 1,770 1,724
Treasurer’s Office 41 40
Veteran’s Services 202 211
Wildlife 179 219
16,589 18,161

2007 there were 20,245 employees

November 23, 2016 / jimnv

Bad News for Nevada Republicans: PERS is Still Doing Well

PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) is still one of the best retirement plans in the nation. It is conservative, well run and gets great investment returns. This news will not be good for those politicians and conservatives who want to destroy the system. Watch for their posturing and proposals at the next Legislative session which begins February 6, 2017. NV Legislature.

The contribution rate for regular state employees will remain at 14 percent for the next Biennium. It will be 20% for police/fire employees. Social Security participants pay just 6.2 percent.

NOTE: Many counties pay the entire contribution for their employees such as teachers. State employees do not have that benefit because they do not have the right to collective bargain.

Further, the unfunded liability has is now 25.9 percent and the revenue for the past year increased to $35.9 billion year which is a 7.7 percent return on investment.

PERS has not only state employees contributing but also 190 government entities employing just over 105,000 employees. There are about 14,000 state employees.

November 21, 2016 / jimnv

Health Plan Changes

The Nevada Public Eemployees Benefits Board met on November 17th and decided:

The annual individual deductibles would change to $1,600 from $1,900.

The annual family deductibles would change to $3,200 from $3,800.

The co-insurance will stay at 80 percent.

The annual dental benefit would stay at $1,500.

The the hearing aid benefit would be $1,500 per ear.

Deferred decisions, pending Economic Forum projections are:

Changing the $25,000 life insurance benefit to $10,000 for employees. For retirees it would be $5,000 instead of $12,5,00.

They also deferred action on cutting the HSA contributions for both employees and dependents.

In January 2017, they will make their decisions relying on the Economic Forum‘s revenue projections. It’s not looking good.

October 20, 2016 / jimnv

PERS is Doing Well, As Usual

The annualized return for PERS investments in the past 32 years has been 9.4 percent which is more than the 8 percent return needed to make the fund fully funded. The plan was 73.5 percent fully funded in 2015 compared to 71.5 percent in 2014.

For FY 2015,the investment return was 4.2 percent and for FY 2014, it was 15.6 percent.

PERS is at the top for well run retirement funds, so don’t let anyone tell you different.

If you have any questions about PERS,please call them. They are very helpful.

Carson City:

693 W. Nye Lane
Carson City, NV 89703
Toll Free: 1-866-473-7768
Fax: 1-775-687-5131

Las Vegas:

5820 S. Eastern Ave, Suite 220
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Toll Free: 1-866-473-7768
Fax: 1-702-678-6934



October 20, 2016 / jimnv

PERS Fund Management Is Indexed and Doing Very Well

There are many legislators who would like to eliminate PERS.Their positions are based on ignorance and deep animosity toward public employees, especially state employees.

It is not surprising PERS foes are mostly Republicans who are unduly influenced by ALEC a conservative group hell-bent on destroying public sector jobs. Since many Nevada legislator can’t think clearly themselves, they get someone else to do it for them.

Recently, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal that described how PERS funds are managed. It turns out there is now only a single guy doing the managing and he does very little except invest in index funds. He eliminated 10 positions in his quest to keep things simple and profitable. consequently, the costs to manage about $35 billion is quite low, about $18 million a year versus about a $100 million more elsewhere.

Here is the link to the article:

“What Does Nevada’s $35 Billion Fund Manager Do All Day? Nothing”

October 19,2016 (A subscription is required.)

August 11, 2015 / jimnv

Jim Wells Won’t Go Away

The old news is that on March 2,2015, Governor Sandoval appointed Jim Wells the NV PEBP  executive director as the “Interim Director” of the Department of Administration. That interim appointment was made permanent on April 27, 2015.

Wells was the Executive Director of NV Public Employee Benefits (4 1/2 years) and worked for PEBP for about 7 1/2 years. Unfortunately, he is now in charge of the Department of Administration. I feel for the agencies/offices now under him.  These are: human resources/personnel, grant management, information technology, fleet services, purchasing, risk management, public works, buildings and grounds, internal audit, hearings and appeals, victims of crimes and library and archives.

As of July 16,2015, the PEBP Board unanimously selected Damon Haycock as its new Executive Director. The Interim Executive Director Kateri Carraher, said during Haycock’s review that the PEBP culture was not good at this time and the Board needed someone who would care about staff and provide leadership. Let’s hope so!

It seems the Board understood the incompetence of the old director.

Sandoval put him into an existing position (Director of the Department of Administration/Budget Director) with even more responsibility that is very troubling. Keeping him as the incompetent executive director of one agency and giving him a new job rewards incompetence. Who you hire reflects on what you are, Mr. Sandoval. Also, have you ever heard of the old maxim, “Past behavior predicts future behavior?”. You might check with personnel about that one.

What will Sandoval do when Wells fails at his new job? And he WILL fail.  I heard he already has!


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