Ten Benefit Enhancements Poised to Go to Governor’s Desk
With one (?) more day until the State Legislature leaves Albany, 10 benefit sweeteners have passed both houses and will be delivered to the Governor.
The bills are listed below.
This bill creates a new disability benefit for state police officers, providing full salary and wages to members who are sick or injured in the performance of duties. Currently, injured officers receive disability benefits equal to no more than 75 percent of their salary.
This bill allows counties to offer correction officers and deputy sheriffs who are engaged in correction officer duties a special 20-year retirement plan. This arrangement will provide a benefit of one-half of the final average salary upon an employee’s retirement.
This bill allows uniformed court or peace officers employed by the unified court system to retire without early age pension reduction upon attaining 30 years of creditable service at age 55. The normal retirement age is also reduced from 63 to 62.
This bill allows employers in the NYS and Local Police and Fire Retirement System that offer their employees the 20-year retirement plan to do so without requiring employee contributions.
This bill extends the filing deadline from 2 years to 5 years for firefighters outside New York City to file an application for disability benefits due to certain cancers.
This bill provides full salary and wages to correction officers who are sick or injured in the performance of duties. Currently, injured correction officers would be eligible for disability benefits equal to no more than 75 percent of their salary.
This act creates a presumption that police officers of the Division of Law Enforcement in the Department of Environmental Conservation, capital police officers in General Services, and forest rangers with cardiac health issues, suffer from such problems due to their employment. This presumption would entitle these state employees to receive duty-related disability benefits.
This bill allows any member of the NYS and Local Police and Fire Retirement System who became a member on or after July 1, 2009 and before January 10, 2010 to choose which pension tier to join.
This bill increases disability payments for New York City firefighters. This bill reflects a compromise between the City of New York and the impacted unions and will cost $6.1 million in 2017 and $12.6 million annually by 2021.
This bill increases disability pensions to airport firefighters and training and safety officers in the NYS Division of Military and Naval who are diagnosed with heart disease, lung disease, and certain forms of cancer. This bill also establishes the presumption that these diseases were incurred in the performance and discharge of duty, entitling impacted individuals to receive enhanced disability benefits.
These bills will provide expensive benefit enhancements to public sector workers and retirees without improving services for taxpayers. Therefore, in coming weeks the Citizens Budget Commission will be writing to the Governor to recommend vetoing this legislation.