FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2013
Contact: Joseph Ahearn, (914) 774-6856
KATZ AND COMPTROLLER SHARE WORRIES
ABOUT MANDATES, PENSION SYSTEM
Upon the release of the Executive Budget Proposal, Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,C,I-Yorktown) noted the lack of real mandate-relief proposed by Gov. Cuomo. In addition, Katz was wary that Cuomo’s plan is to borrow from future Tier VI pension savings in order to pay for unfunded mandates. This plan was developed specifically to pay for pension relief, which is one of the largest unfunded mandates our state faces. Tuesday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli expressed similar concerns.
Katz noted that Gov. Cuomo’s plan is an “opt-in” plan that will allow municipalities to borrow funds from future Tier VI savings to pay for expenses in the short-term. The governor hopes the plan will produce more than enough savings to cover the difference over a 25-year period.
In his recent statement, DiNapoli expressed concern that the pension fund for New York state employees has the potential to be used as a “mandate-relief fund.” DiNapoli must sign off on any proposed changes to the state pension system. New York State has one of the best funded pension systems in the country.
“One of the first things I took away from the Executive Budget Proposal was that the pension reform plan was a fantasy. Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester are on the verge of bankruptcy because of unfunded mandate costs. The Governor has been working to bail them out, and this is that proposal. If anyone were to walk into a bank and ask for the type of loan the Governor is asking our state for with the collateral of ‘future savings’, they would be laughed out the door,” Katz said. “To borrow from future savings will not only hinder mandate relief but it could also cause problems with the public pension system. Comptroller DiNapoli has expressed the same concerns. Gov. Cuomo continues to withhold the realistic and drastic mandate relief that local governments desperately need and deserve. He is not only jeopardizing the long-term health of our municipal governments but also endangering the pension system by drastically under-funding it in the short-term. This proposal will hurt New York badly in the long run, but will cause the Governor no pain through his 2016 Presidential bid.”
To join Katz’s fight for real mandate relief, contact his district office by phone at 845-628-3781 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.