The governor praised the state's largest public employee union for agreeing to wage and benefits concessions this year, but also criticized unions for resisting lower retirement benefits for what he described as "the unborn" -- future state workers for whom he wants to reduce pensions.
"This will be the bar for next year," Mr. Cuomo said of his pension proposal.
The first sentence of that passage refers to the governor's recent
contract deal with the Civil Service Employees Association, which is
still subject to member ratification vote that won't be completed until
As for Cuomo's pension proposal, it would sharply reduce current defined-benefit levels (for local as well as state workers) -- but it falls short of fundamental reform, since it does not include any structural change. The governor has not proposed a shift to the defined-contribution model for any group of workers, even as an option.
yesterday staked out a strong position against the kind of fiscal chicanery
all too many state and local governments have practiced in an attempt to
dodge payment of their full pension contributions.
The governor vetoed a
bill that would have allowed New York school districts to issue bonds to
cover their projected teacher pension cost increases over the next three years. The bill not only constituted a fiscal abuse; it also sidestepped Cuomo's newly enacted local property tax cap.
The money graf from the governor's veto message:
Instead of cutting spending, this bill would enable school districts to borrow to meet current expenses, forcing taxpayers in the future to repay amounts significantly higher than what was originally borrowed. New York taxpayers and businesses can ill afford these imprudent fiscal practices which will unquestionably result in several more years of unsustainable tax increases.
Ironically, New York's state government itself is irreversibly locked into a similar borrowing gimmick for the foreseeable future, thanks to a law enacted as part of the 2010-11 budget (under former Governor Paterson) with the support of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. But Cuomo's veto message strongly implies he will not support such gambits in the future.