ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo is keeping up the rhetoric on his Tier VI pension reform push, saying “cities and counties in this state could go bankrupt,” absent some kind of change. The governors comments came while being interviewed by Susan Arbetter of the Capitol Pressroom.
The governor has basically told legislators he would put pension changes in an extender bill if it’s not in by the April 1 budget deadline. If lawmakers in the legislature refused to accept the extender, then they would receive much of the blame for any kind of state shut down that may result. It also would mean localities would have to lay off more and more public employees due to skyrocketing pension costs.
Meanwhile, as Gov. Cuomo continues his Tier VI push, unions are pointing out that part of the retirement mess is due to the hit that pension funds took with the 2008 financial crash.
Several labor leaders from the AFL-CIO were in Albany this week to call for expansion of the state’s Martin Act – which gives the Attorney General broad powers in going after financial misdeeds. They believe the Act should allow the Attorney General to seek damages to make up for pension fund losses from Wall Street.
The president of the United Federation of Teachers president says that Wall Street is viewed as a Golden Goose for New York in terms of the taxes it generates. He said that when the goose lays a golden egg, Wall Street grabs it. Everything (else) that comes out of the goose is given to everyone else.
A complete look at the AFL-CIO Plan to go after Wall Street can be found at the Albany Times-Union’s Capitol Connection blog site.