Fitzpatrick: Pension Reform Essential To The Economic Health Of New York

A statement from Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown)

“My Assembly Minority Conference colleagues and I have proposed a number of significant reforms since the beginning of the legislative session, one of which is legislation (A.4643) that would amend the New York State Constitution to strip public servants, including elected officials, of their taxpayer-funded pensions if convicted of a felony directly related to their duties. A similar measure (S.4611), agreed upon by the Assembly, Senate and Gov. Cuomo, was minutes away from being passed as part of the New York State budget before being removed from consideration.

“The Majority has now put forth its own heavily watered-down version of this bill, A.7704, which may not apply to most of New York’s public’s servants, including some members of the New York State Public Employees Federation as well as the Civil Service Employees Association. Those unaffected by this legislation would be allowed to collect their pensions even if convicted of these felonies. We must end the practice of corrupt state officials cashing in at taxpayer expense.

“Once we have properly addressed this issue, we must go a step further and transition all elected officials into a 401(k)-style defined contribution platform to save taxpayers millions while alleviating the conflict of interest that exists in the state legislature. With six-figure pensions on the line, elected officials are more likely to take action that guarantees reelection rather than action that will save taxpayers money. We must end this practice.”