Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
When the Let NY Work coalition unveiled its mandate relief program back in November, pension reform was literally at the top of their list. The coalition consists of business, real estate and municipality groups pushing for major changes to the obligations localities have to the state and public employee unions.
Today Let NY Work doubled down on their push for pension reform, hailing Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal for a new pension tier that would give new state employees the option of enrolling in a 401(k)-style retirement plan.
“New York cannot afford to not pass this legislation," Peter Baynes, the executive director of New York Conference of Mayors, said about the Governor's plan in a statement. "Without it, local governments will steadily lose the fiscal capacity to hire employees, much less pay their pensions. This is a critically important step on the road to sustainable property tax relief for New Yorkers. If state legislators are serious about authentic mandate relief, they must pass the governor’s Tier VI plan."
"The Tier VI retirement proposal advanced by Gov. Cuomo is a fair and balanced approach to containing pension costs in New York," said Unshackle Upstate's executive director Brian Sampson in the statement.
The new Tier VI plan is opposed by labor unions. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has signaled his resistance to the idea, suggesting that the logic behind a new tier--that the current economic problems justify a long-term change to the system--"might not be the smartest move.”