Governor Cuomo’s proposed two percent cap on interest arbitration awards to police and firefighters unions was stripped from the final Article 7 budget bill dealing with Education, Labor and Family Assistance issues. At the same time, the Senate and Assembly majorities were unable to get the governor to agree to their preference for a straight four-year extender of the arbitration law, which expires June 30.

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This is good news: it means there is still a chance that Cuomo will use his legislative leverage on this issue to demand more meaningful changes that could really help localities get control of their public safety compensation costs.

A second small plus in the final budget is that the Legislature also dropped Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate all state-mandated reporting requirements for local governments. On the surface, it may have sounded like a good way to cut red tape, but it also could have jeopardized the continued existence of important accountability tools like the School Property Tax Report Card and state comptroller’s detailed reports on municipal finances.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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