Told you so. Former Republican legislator Duncan Baird has been picked as the new director of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System.
After he lost a race for treasurer, he landed a top budget job in Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Department of Finance and Administration. Then Asa got the legislature to change the makeup of the APERS board so his people would control it. Then it forced out long-time director Gail Stone. Then it took applications. Then, Baird made the group of finalists. Then,
That DFA job he’s leaving seems likely to be in familiar hands. They just hired defeated Republican legislator Charlie “Colt 45” Collins to a newly created job to stand by at DFA until Baird moved up.
To the victors and all that
Michael Wickline broke the news for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He says Baird was approved on a voice vote of trustees. His pay will move up to $149,000. Since Baird made almost $124,000 at DFA, I’m guessing Collins, hired at $95,000, might be looking at more money when his expected promotion is announced. Government transformation is Asa’s middle name.
UPDATE: Coincidentally, the D-G reports that the same day the Republican-controlled board of APERS hired Baird they approved a raft of legislative proposals that will reduce benefits to future public retirees and also end the guaranteed 3 percent COLA for current retirees. I’m guessing Baird will approve of these moves. (The new COLA would track rises in the Consumer Price Index rather than compounding at 3 percent a year.) Other proposals would reduce interest earnings on employee contributions from 4 to 2 percent; make employees contribute 6 percent, rather than 5 percent, to retirement; lengthen from three to five years the average