Another Promising Sign
The Citizen Budget Commission congratulates Governor Andrew Cuomo on his veto of A6309/S4067, the bill that proposed allowing school districts to borrow over $1 billion for pension costs. As noted in our July 11th letter, this bill would have undermined the discipline imposed by the property tax cap, diminished the likelihood of a new tier by hiding the true cost of public employee pensions, and pushed costs onto future taxpayers.
With the Governor’s veto, the Citizens Budget Commission is pleased to announce that none of the bills identified in our 2011 Public Benefit Sweetener Scorecard were signed into law during this legislative session. The Scorecard tracked the most costly enhancements, restrictive protections and fiscal gimmicks related to fringe benefits for public employees introduced in the Legislature. It is the first time in the six years that the CBC has monitored pension sweeteners that no major bills have been passed.
This marks a change of course by the State’s elected leaders. They should continue on this path to the next step: enacting the Governor’s comprehensive proposal to make the pension system more equitable, affordable and sustainable.