ALBANY – Lawmakers in Albany have reached tentative agreements on pension reform, redistricting, and several other issues. That after members of both the Assembly and Senate rolled up their sleeves, working well into early this morning in an all-night session.
According to Jimmy Vielkind of Albany Times-Union, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reached agreement with state lawmakers on pension restructuring, legalizing gambling and expanding the state’s DNA databank by using a promise to sign new legislative district maps as “glue” to hold all the other agreements together.
The bills were then approved in a marathon, all-night session that included a walkout by Senate Democrats, who were frustrated with the Governor’s reversal on a promise to veto legislative districts drawn by lawmakers.
Labor unions also condemned the Tier VI pension proposal, even in its modified format. The latest version of pension reform will not include a defined-contribution option, like a 401(k), for most workers. The minimum retirement age rises to 63 from 62. Governor Cuomo had been pushing for the age to be 65. And the “multiplier” for years of service used to calculate a final pension has been reduced.
Lawmakers also got the ball rolling on adding up to seven non-native American casinos around the state. And the group also expanded the state’s DNA databank to include samples from most every crime, excepting misdemeanor marijuana possession charges.
As of 6 a.m. Thursday, lawmakers were still in Albany working on passing the agreements, including the Tier VI pension proposal.