The MDGFOA fall conference on October 14, 2016 at BWI Marriott was well received by its attendants. The session started with Janet Irvin, President of MDGFOA, providing the welcome and introductions. After that, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford delivered State of Maryland updates followed by informative Q & A. Lt. Governor Rutherford discussed the work of State work group on procurement to modernize the procurement process and how it focused on efficiency, workforce development, and initiatives. Questions from the audience touched on broad topics including shared services, highway user revenues, economic slowdown, piggy back on contract issue, and achievement gap in schools.
Next, Mary Christine Jackman, MD State Treasurer’s Office, together with two experts from World Bank – George Richardson and Urvi Mehta, introduced SB1119 and discussed the newly available investment opportunities of obligations issued by supranational issuers, for governments in Maryland, following a State bill that was passed and became effective on October 1, 2016. The panel discussed different supranational issuers and their products. After that, Ben Watkins, GFOA board member and Director of Bond Finance for the State of Florida, provided GFOA updates centering on debt or current developments in muni-market. He covered various topics of interest including municipal advisor rules, IRS and SEC enforcement actions, credit ratings, P3, and market conditions.
Following a lunch break, the afternoon session began with an extensive overview of economic and State revenue outlook by Andrew M. Schaufele, Bureau of Revenue Estimate of Maryland. Schaufele talked about the recent significant State revenue write-down, primarily in income tax receipts, and attributed it partly to the volatility of capital gains, lower than previously expected growth in wages and personal income, and lack of diversified tax base (with less than 10% of the accounts contributing more than half of total State personal income taxes). He also expressed concerns on long-term revenue growth potential in Maryland, quoting the concentration of job growth in relatively low paid jobs, lower salary of new recruits replacing retired employees, and lack of productivity in general.
Andy Bauer, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond provided an update of multiple national and regional economic indicators and described the general economic trend as solid or gradual growth, not likely to incur recession. He also pointed out that low energy prices and low interest rates won’t hold forever, with Federal fund rate likely be raised each year in next couple of years.
The economic discussions were followed by a presentation by Eric Sanner and Cathy Furr from AON Hewitt. They showed the industrial trend, introduced a cost management framework, discussed various strategies for managing employee health care costs in the public sector and shared major findings of 2016 AON healthcare surveys. The presentation also provided useful information on retiree health benefit trends. After that, the session adjourned.
Members interested in the presentations of the fall conference can find those slides on-line at: MDGFOA Conference Presentations
Don't forget to register for our winter conference at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum, MD on January 27, 2017. This is a popular conference and will fill up quickly. Hopefully see you in January at the winter conference!
-Holly Sun, Ph.D., Howard County
-Holly Sun, Ph.D., Howard County
Upcoming Quarterly Conference Dates
January 27, 2017
April 28, 2017
October 27, 2017
January 19, 2018
April 27, 2018
October 26, 2018
January 25, 2019
April 26, 2019
October 25, 2019
Member: $175.00 Non-Member Govt Employed: $215.00
Non-Member Associate: $225.00 Retired: $75.00
Click on Map for Hotel Information and Directions
BWI Marriott Clarion Resort Fountainebleau Hotel