Published in
The Empire

Senate, Assembly Adopt One House Budgets

By Karen DeWitt, New York State Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

The state Assembly and Senate have released one house versions of a state budget that do not include Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for a new benefit tier to limit the pensions of future public workers.

The budgets plans are designed to stake out the positions of Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans - and are often changed in the final deal with the governor.

Neither house has included Cuomo’s plan to offer a new Tier 6 benefit package with smaller pensions for new workers. Senate Finance Committee Chair John DeFrancisco, debating on the Senate floor, said the pension changes are still under discussion with the governor. He added Cuomo has offered a new option, and Senators are deciding if it’s “is something that we should support.”

Governor Cuomo has said he won’t accept any spending plan from the legislature that does not include a new pension tier for future state workers. The governor said if there’s no agreement, he’ll try to force lawmakers to adopt his plan by presenting it in the first budget extender, then daring the legislature to accept it or shut down the government.