screen-shot-2018-12-03-at-2-03-53-pm-150x150-1041062Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday again vetoed a pair of union-backed bills designed to sweeten pensions and discourage use of private contractors by state agencies—a positive signal for his third term.

A bill to roll back part of Cuomo’s 2012 pension reforms for the state’s uniformed court officers (S7704 (Golden)/A9910 (Abbate)) met its fifth veto in as many years. The “Court Officer Special,” restoring retirement with full benefits at age 62 for the affected employees, was one of 11 pension and other benefit sweeteners that would have $53 million in “near term” costs alone, according to the governor’s estimate. “These bills would establish a negative precedent for other employees to seek similar unfunded benefits,” he said in his veto message.

Cuomo also vetoed a bill (S.383/Robach)/A2202 (Bronson)) that would have made it more difficult for agencies to contract with private businesses instead of using state employees—such as members of the Public Employees Federation (PEF), which covers the kind of technical and professional workers most vulnerable to competition from the private-sector. In his veto message, Cuomo affirmed a preference for existing state statute, which lets agencies seek out the “best value” in hiring contractors, rather than looking solely at the cost, and expressed concerns the bill would delay the procurement process.

Although Cuomo had vetoed a similar measure in 2012, his relations with PEF warmed significantly this year as the union went from backing his primary opponent in 2014 to endorsing him for re-election. PEF leaders mobilized members to pressure Cuomo to sign the bill, suggesting even they didn’t know the measure was headed for rejection.

Approving either bill would have made it more difficult for Cuomo to adhere to his self-imposed 2 percent limit on the growth of state operating funds spending, and would have invited lawmakers to serve up even more expensive giveaways.

About the Author

Ken Girardin

Ken Girardin is the Empire Center’s Director of Strategic Initiatives.

Read more by Ken Girardin

You may also like

Remembering the scandal that brought down Health Commissioner Howard Zucker

The resignation of Dr. Howard Zucker as state health commissioner marks the end of a term marred by scandal over his role in managing the coronavirus pandemic. The much-debated compelling nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients, though it origi Read More

After 10 weeks, all but five of the Empire Center’s 63 requests for pandemic data remain unfulfilled

Over the 10 days that Hochul has been in office, there has been no further progress on the Empire Center's record requests. Read More

New York’s health benefits remain the second-costliest in the U.S.

New York's health benefit costs increased faster than the national average in 2020, leaving it with the second-least affordable coverage in the U.S. The state's average total cost f Read More

DiNapoli bolsters pension fund stability—and cuts tax-funded costs

Comptroller DiNapoli has taken a big step to bolster the financial stability of New York State's largest public-sector retirement system Read More

Another Hochul To-Do: Timely Financial Reporting

The state will spend a record $212 billion in the current 2022 Fiscal Year, under the budget its elected leaders adopted in April. Read More

Can Cuomo still be impeached?

Andrew Cuomo and Donald Trump have more in common than boyhood homes in Queens. Like Trump, Cuomo could still face impeachment and an impeachment trial despite a promise to resign as Governor later this month. Read More

The Gov’s pension

There are several (dozens? hundreds?) of unanswered questions as the fallout from Andrew Cuomo's resignation earlier today continues. Among those are questions related to his pension, some of which can be answered, sort of. Read More

The Health Department’s FOIL Responses Signal an Indefinite Wait for Pandemic Data

The quest for comprehensive data on New York's coronavirus pandemic hit a bureaucratic roadblock this week Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!