Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) is disappointed by the decision of the Assembly Majority on the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees, who voted to delay reform legislation that would strip corrupt officials of their publicly-funded pensions. This is just one measure Fitzpatrick has been advocating, and he still contends that leaving the taxpayer-funded defined benefit retirement system altogether is the best way to remove the incentive that has led to corrupt behavior in the state. The defined benefit retirement system has seeded the political culture in state government that favors longevity which has been the root of much of many corruption cases in New York.
“Although highly disappointing, it is not at all surprising that the Assembly Majority, which is dominated by New York City politicians, would delay ethics reforms and any changes to the public pension system,” said Fitzpatrick. “There is a deep-seeded unwillingness to increase the severity of the penalties for those who break the public’s trust. Ninety-seven percent of New Yorkers want ethics reform, and reforming the public pension system is the first step in achieving that. We need to reform the system now to ensure taxpayers are not stuck with the tab for the retirements of felons.”
Fitzpatrick sponsors legislation that would require all elected officials and political appointees to be enrolled in the same defined contribution retirement system used by 70 percent of the teaching staff at the State University of New York (SUNY).