Legislators are returning to work at the Capitol in Albany after four days out of session and, on their way back, they’ll be greeted by a “giant inflatable Wall Street pig” named “1%.” AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, announced their intention to stage the porcine protest against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pension reform proposal in a statement sent out yesterday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on Fred Dicker’s radio show, “Live From The State Capitol,” to discuss Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Tier VI pension reform proposal. Despite rumors of a strained relationship between hizzoner and the governor, Mayor Bloomberg, who was joined by Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, praised the push for pension reform and blasted legislators who are trying to block Tier VI.
In a Q&A session with reporters after the cabinet meeting today Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed the state of his push to reform the pension system for public workers. Governor Cuomo was asked about legislators who are demanding he negotiate the reforms with the unions and get them to agree to a plan, but he was adamant that there’s nothing to negotiate and the unions are inherently opposed to reform.
“We just finished negotiating quote-un-quote with our public employee unions; salaries, benefits, et cetera when we did contracts. The contracts were ratified. Pensions are not subject to collective bargaining negotiations, so you can’t negotiate a pension in the collective bargaining. If you just finished negotiating a contract and someone says, ‘Well, go negotiate the pension with the unions and I’ll only pass pension reform if the union agrees,’ there’s nothing left to negotiate with the union,” Governor Cuomo said. “By definition, the unions don’t want a reform that would diminish pension benefits, so the answer’s always going to be, ‘No.'” Continue reading “Governor Cuomo Says He Can’t Negotiate Pension Reform With Public Employee Unions”→
Comptroller John Liu didn’t let the fundraising scandal that has dampened his mayoral ambitions stop him from outlining a sweeping vision for the economic future of the five boroughs in a State of the City address today at City College. After giving a “shout out” to Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, Mr. Liu explained why the city economy is in a precarious position and unveiled his plans to improve New York’s financial outlook.
“Today, more than 250,000 new yorkers languish in unemployment. That is more than twice the number of unemployed this city had a few years ago,” Mr. Liu said in a prepared version of his speech that was distributed at the event. “Is it any wonder that people occupy parks clamoring for a better economic plan, when they are left jobless year after year?”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his verdict on the ambitious slate of plans for New York Governor Cuomo presented in his annual State of the State address in a press conference following the speech today. Overall, the mayor called it a “very good speech.”
“I thought the governor’s speech left us all walking out thinking it was a great hope for the state, the state is going in the right direction and it’s a challenge to all of us to put our nose to the grindstone and actually do the work,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
In his annual State of the State address today, Governor Cuomo outlined his ambitious vision for the future New York State including sweeping campaign finance reform, massive construction projects, an entirely new neighborhood built from scratch on the West Side of Manhattan, legalized casinos and a slew of new social programs. Governor Cuomo described his strategy for 2012 as an effort to build on a first year in office where he changed the culture of Albany from partisanship to constructive cooperation. Continue reading “Governor Cuomo's 'Ambitious Agenda' For 2012”→