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”

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.