Assemblymember Wallace Announces that her Severance Pay Limitation Act to Prohibit Lucrative Golden Parachute Deals in State Authorities is Now Law

Today, Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) announced that her Severance Pay Limitation Act was signed into law by the governor (Ch. 595 of 2019). This law now prevents public authorities from awarding “golden parachute” payouts at taxpayer expense.

“When the Erie County Water Authority voted to give a ‘golden parachute’ contract to its then-executive director, I was disgusted by this waste of scarce public dollars. I introduced the Severance Pay Limitation Act to prevent future abuses of public money,” said Wallace. “Monies paid to The Erie County Water Authority should be spent addressing our crumbling infrastructure and improving our water quality, not providing lucrative severance packages to its executives. I want to thank the governor for signing this legislation and recognizing the need to prevent future abuses of taxpayer dollars – today is a win for good government.”

Early last year, it was discovered that a clause in the contract for the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) executive director would guarantee a severance package, estimated between $300,000 and $400,000, if his contract was terminated by the Authority. That news came less than two months after a rate hike for all ECWA customers took effect. Wallace immediately introduced legislation to prevent future golden parachute payouts using taxpayer money. That legislation is now law.

The Severance Pay Limitation Act makes amendments to the public authorities law by defining at-will appointees and limiting the severance package allowable for at-will appointees to no more than twelve weeks’ pay.

“I’ll continue working to protect public dollars from wasteful government practices and ensure that our public authorities use our taxpayer money in a way that benefits the public,” said Wallace.