Pension Reform Deal Draws Praise From Bloomberg And Cuomo, Anger From Unions

cuomo1 Pension Reform Deal Draws Praise From Bloomberg And Cuomo, Anger From Unions
Governor Cuomo (Photo: Getty)

Albany’s “Night of the Living Deals” included the passage of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pension reform plan for public employees. Both the governor and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, perhaps the most high profile supporter of Tier VI, released statements praising the passage of the proposal.

“This bold and transformational pension reform plan is a historic win for New York taxpayers and municipalities that will save more than $80 billion over the next 30 years, while preserving retirement security for public workers. Without this critical reform, New Yorkers would have seen significant tax increases, as well as layoffs to teachers, firefighters and police,” Mr. Cuomo said. Continue reading “Pension Reform Deal Draws Praise From Bloomberg And Cuomo, Anger From Unions”

Lawmakers Push For Legislation To Allow AG To Go After Pension Fund Fraudsters

049 Lawmakers Push For Legislation To Allow AG To Go After Pension Fund Fraudsters
Peter Abbate (Photo: NYS Assembly)

Against the backdrop of the contentious turf war over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pension reform plan, a trio of Democratic Assemblyman and several labor leaders are calling for passage of the Institutional Investor Recovery Act. This legislation would allow the Attorney General to seek damages and recoveries when public pension funds suffer losses due to securities fraud. Currently, the Martin Act gives the Attorney General broad powers to prosecute securities fraud, but it does not allow the State to recover losses on behalf of public pension funds. Pursuing losses from financial firms is a favored topic of opponents of the governor’s pension reform push who argue the focus should be on penalizing Wall Street firms that lost money from the pension fund rather than cutting benefits.

“All the focus on the issue of pensions has been on the benefit side of the equation. We need to look at what happened on the investment side. It simply doesn’t make sense that the pension funds have no practical way to recover investment losses caused by fraud,” said Assemblyman Peter Abbate the lead sponsor of the bill to update the Martin Act. Continue reading “Lawmakers Push For Legislation To Allow AG To Go After Pension Fund Fraudsters”

Morning Read: Bill Clinton Disses Perry, Quinn Dismisses 'Naive' Critics

manhattan 20110816 00158 Morning Read: Bill Clinton Disses Perry, Quinn Dismisses 'Naive' Critics
A new sign for the Ed Koch Bridge, at 56th Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan. (sent by a reader)

2012: “Clinton poked a little light-hearted fun” at Perry. []

2012: The firemen who heard Clinton’s remarks laughed. [NY Post]

2012: The story gets picked up by the wires. [AP]

2012: Romney notes only other candidate with private sector experience is Herman Cain. [S.A. Miller / NY Post]

2012: Perry touts “We created more jobs than any other state in the nation – from June of 2009 until present…Nobody in this race can say that.” [Huffington Post]

2012: “I can think of no reason why anyone who, for some unaccountable reason, supports Michele Bachmann will not move over to Perry.” [Richard Cohen / Daily News]

2012: “Republicans have yet to articulate a clear and compelling case for the White House — other than that they’re ‘not Obama.’” [NY Post]

2012: “Both parties’ primary systems give far too much weight to a small coterie of true believers.” [New York Times]

2013: “[Quinn] is unapologetic about her move to the middle, and brushes off her critics as ‘naïve’ ideologues. ‘There’s very few things in life…where there are angels and devils. Everything is usually more complicated than that.’ ” [David Chen / New York Times]

NY-9: Schumer to endorse Weprin. [Celeste Katz / Daily News]

NY-9: Turner defends opposition to Park51 and use of 9/11 imagery. “I’m not even remotely backing off it.” [Michael Saul / WSJ]

NY-9: “[Turner’s] campaign is geared around nationalizing the race and winning the support of Democrats who are dissatisfied with the president.” [Alex Isenstadt / Politico]

VP: Biden was in the Hamptons with tech entrepreneur David Bohnett and his partner, Tom Gregory. [Page Six / NY Post]

Transporting Cuomo: “It cost New York about $13,000 to shuttle Gov. Andrew Cuomo on state-owned aircract for six months.” [AP]

Reading Cuomo: He “seemed rudderless when it came to the Port Authority.” [Bill Hamond / Daily News]

County Chairman: “With strong hints from statewide Democrats close to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that his services are no longer required, [Erie County Democratic Chairman Len] Lenihan is quietly slipping out the door.” [Robert McCarthy / Buffalo News]

Ethics: “The new commission will mark the first time an independent body has been in charge of overseeing legislative ethics.” [Jon Campbell / Poughkeepsie Journal]

Labor: CSEA ratifies deal with Cuomo; avoids layoffs. [Democrat and Chronicle]

Labor: Unofficial vote was 60-40 in favor of the contract. [Rick Karlin / Times Union]

Labor: CSEA ratification is a big win for Cuomo. [Erik Kriss / NY Post]

Labor: “[R]atification also goes a long way toward validating Mr. Cuomo’s strategy for dealing with public workers.” [Thomas Kaplan / New York Times]

City Council: Former Councilman Jennings is best-funded challenger to Ruben Wills. [Lisa Colangelo / Daily News]

Taxis: Assemblyman Kellner urges Cuomo to block Bloomberg’s taxi plan until more cabs are handicap accessible. [Ken Lovett / Daily News]

Monroe: Incumbent GOP County Exec seeks unprecedented third term; Dem challenger vows to create integrity office. [Jill Terreri / Democrat and Chronicle]

World Police & Fire Games: No events on Staten Island. [Judy Randall / SI Advance]

Third Party: New SI chairman of Libertarian Party is Dave Narby. [Tom Wrobleski / SI Advance]

Fire: Judge blocks Bloomberg plan to eliminate emergency call boxes. [Benjamin Weiser / New York Times]

Health: State health officials support Oswego County’s decision not to spray insecticides, despite “a dozen positive tests for Eastern equine encephalitis this summer and the death of a 4-year-old girl.” [Teri Weaver / Post-Standard]

Taxes: GOP candidates are proposing “most radically conservative positions of any set of candidates at least since Barry M. Goldwater in 1964.” [Steven Rattner / New York Times]

And Attorney General Schneiderman’s push against a settlement with BofA gets a boost from Nevada’s Attorney General. [David McLaughlin / Business Week]

Protesters, and Rats, Greet Scott Walker in New York

scottwalkerrally e1309378592158 Protesters, and Rats, Greet Scott Walker in New York“Say it loud! Say it clear! Scott Walker is not welcome here!” chanted a gaggle of union members and supporters gathered on a hot strip of strip of sidewalk in Grand Army Plaza Park on the Upper East Side this afternoon.

Walker, the first-year governor of Wisconsin, became a national villain of the labor movement in February, when–after a protracted stand-off that saw the state Capitol taken siege by activists–his bill to balance the state budget succeeded in stripping government workers of most of their collective bargaining rights. Continue reading “Protesters, and Rats, Greet Scott Walker in New York”

Cuomo and CSEA Cut a Deal

Andrew Cuomo and CSEA — the union that represents 66,000 state workers — have reached a deal that will help the union avoid impending layoffs.

The five-year agreement calls for no increase in base wages over the first three years, and a two percent wage increase over the fourth and fifth years.

Danny Donohue, CSEA’s president, said these were “not ordinary times.”

The deal still requires approval from the union’s membership, but if it passes, would set a benchmark for negotiations with other public sector unions.

PEF has criticized Cuomo’s approach recently and protested the proposed layoffs earlier this week. Whether this will bring them to the table to cut a similar deal remains to be seen.