Streams

 

Pension Reform

The Christie Tracker Podcast

The Chairman's Dinner

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How a dinner with David Samson allegedly led to a special flight path… and a federal probe.

WNYC News

Christie and Union Disagree on Agreement for Pension Reform

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The governor said there was an "unprecedented accord" with the teachers union on reforms to retirement and health benefits. The union said there wasn't.

Comment

WNYC News

Gov. Chris Christie Unveils Budget for 2016

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Governor renewed his call to overhaul New Jersey's ailing pension fund, but did not address a judge's ruling that he broke the law by shorting NJ's payment into the fund.

Comment

WNYC News

Christie cuts $2.4 Billion From Pension Fund, Signalling Fight Ahead

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NJ Spotlight

Facing yet another budget shortfall, New Jersey's governor is cutting pension payments by $2.4 billion, triggering a major confrontation with the Democratic Legislature and the public employee unions.

Comments [2]

WNYC News

Christie Calls for Pension Reform Now, But Doesn't Say How

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

During his budget address, the Republican governor called pensions an "entitlement," much to the dismay of New Jersey Democrats.

Comments [1]

New Jersey News

NJ Supreme Court Rules Judges Can Skimp on Pension Payments

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Jersey's Supreme Court says the state's judges don't have to contribute more to their pensions and health benefits, as is currently required of all other state employees.

Comment

WNYC News

Pension Offices Swamped as Public Workers Lock in Benefits

Friday, March 30, 2012

Little time remains for state and city workers to sign up for a more generous retirement plan. Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo approved a new class of pensions which goes into effect April 1.

Comment

The Empire

Liu pivots from pension risks to benefits for workers without retirement security

Monday, March 26, 2012

Colby Hamilton / WNYC

For a while, the conversation around pensions has primarily been focused on the cost and risk public pensions present to their fiscal backstops, the taxpayers. During this year’s budget negotiations Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed for changes to the system for future public employees. They were needed, he said, because New York’s state and local governments could not afford the system as-is. He was at least partially successful.

Now, the man in charge of the city’s pension system, Comptroller John Liu, wants to change the focus on pensions, from the debate over their sustainability to a wider discussion about retirement security, and the positive role public pension funds could play.

On Monday, Liu joined Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, to promote an idea they say could help the 60 percent or so of New Yorkers currently without a retirement plan by allowing them to buy into the public pension system.

Read More

Comments [3]

It's A Free Country ®

Who Had the Better Week—Cuomo or Christie?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cuomo ekes out a settlement on pension and redistricting reforms, while Chris Christie must be thrilled that he's got Democrats talking tax cuts.

Comments [1]

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks out on the budget, pension reform and Tier VI; tightening up the rules for local development corporations; and the pre-audit function of the Comptroller’s office.

It’s Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Lobbying Day here at the Capitol. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and NRA Board Member Tom King join us with their legislative agenda.

Plus, Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Darrel Aubertine with an update on the Farm Bill, the mystery behind NY Maple syrup production, and the “Buy from the backyard act”.

Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Bloomberg Praises Cuomo's Pension Reform at Bill Signing

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Governor Andrew Cuomo Friday when he signed a crucial piece of his legislative agenda into law, creating a new pension tier in New York state. Tier VI raises the retirement age to 63, and increases the contributions future workers must pay to their plans.

Comment

The Brian Lehrer Show

A Little Ugly in Albany

Friday, March 16, 2012

Karen DeWitt, Capitol bureau chief for New York State Public Radio and Ken Lovett, Albany bureau chief of The Daily News, wrap up the flurry of legislation in Albany. 

Comments [5]

WNYC News

Pension Reform Causes Unions to See Red

Thursday, March 15, 2012

An overnight session in the state legislature where pension reform and other items were approved has left public worker unions, and even some lawmakers, fuming. Meanwhile Governor Andrew Cuomo says it had to be done that way.

Comments [1]

The Empire

5 Cuomo 'Big Ugly' Legislation Highlights

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Courtesy of the Governor's office

It began at 7 pm on Wednesday and wasn’t finished until after 7 am on Thursday, but Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have hammered out the details on the Governor’s five-point policy agenda for this year’s budget. They're calling the franken-legislation 'The Big Ugly.' Here's what it all means, and who's is and is NOT pleased.

Read More

Comments [1]

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Governor Andrew Cuomo joins us with reaction to deals on pension reform, redistricting, teacher evaluations, DNA, casino gambling amendment.

PEF’s Kenneth Brynien is none too pleased with pension reforms. He will be here just prior to a union rally against Tier VI at the Capitol.

Upstate Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is also an unhappy camper. Her district is so bizarrely shaped that she submitted her own proposal to Governor Cuomo.

We have a Gaggle of Goo Goos including NYPIRG’s Russ Haven & Bill Mahoney; the League of Women Voters’ Barbara Bartoletti & Dick Dadey of the Citizens Union.

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

While unions of all stripes continue a full court press against the Governor’s pension reforms, the Empire Center for New York State Policy is out with a poll today indicating a majority of public school teachers support at least some of the pension revisions the Governor is pushing for. Tim Hoefer joins us with the details.

More aid is on the way to victims of flooding in upstate NY.

Common Cause’s Susan Lerner returns with redistricting analysis, as well as what she says are the significant differences between the judicially and legislatively drawn maps.

The Senate Democratic Minority says sure it might be Sunshine Week everywhere else, but here in the murky world of Senate Republican power, things have gotten Duma-like. Senator Liz Kruger, the ranking Dem on the Finance Committee, joins us to discuss this and other issues including redistricting and reproductive rights.

Students and faculty from SUNY and CUNY are asking lawmakers to reverse the decline caused by 3 years of budget cuts totaling almost $2 billion. NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney, UUP’s Marc Dearstyne of SUNY Cortland and Buffalo State student Alex Bornemisza join us with details.

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

Read More

Comment

It's A Free Country ®

Who Had the Better Week—Cuomo or Christie?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Christie enjoys increasing tax revenue and gets to call someone an "idiot," while Cuomo flirts with the "Governor 1%" moniker.

Comments [1]

The Empire

Cuomo's poll numbers down, voters' support for ed reform is mixed

Monday, March 05, 2012

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

In the latest Siena College poll, Governor Andrew Cuomo's job performance and favorability numbers have slid, though they remain "the envy of any politician," according to Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

Cuomo is viewed favorably by 69 percent of voters and unfavorably by 25 percent of voters surveyed. That's down from 74-18 percent last month, according to Siena. He retains a high job performance rating at 57 percent, though that, too, has dropped from 61 percent last month.

“While Andrew Cuomo's numbers are down a little from last month, they remain impressively high as he enters his 15th month as Governor,” Greenberg said in a statement.

Voters may be responding to the recent battle over teacher evaluations. Those polled were split on the value of the teacher evaluation system being implemented across the state, with half of voters saying it will improve the quality of education. Fifty-seven percent believed the deal was fair to teachers.

Yet a plurality of those polled--45 percent--believe the Governor's actions has had no effect on the quality of education in the state, while 27 percent say he's made it more of a problem, and only 22 percent say he's improved it.

“A bare majority of voters thinks the new teacher evaluation system will improve the quality of education in New York, however, a sizable minority believes the new system will have no effect on the quality of education,” Greenberg said. “Clearly voters do not see the issue of teacher evaluations as being the 'be all and end all' to improving the quality of education for New York‟s public school students.

"Interestingly, while the Governor was publicly seen as a leader in the fight for the new evaluation system, education is one key issue area where voters are not giving the Governor high performance grades.”

On the issues, voters are now evenly divided on the issue of legalizing gambling--48 percent support, 49 percent opposed--down from 52-44 percent support last month. The same can't be said for the creation of a new pension tier and the Governor's proposed convention center out in Queens: 66 percent support the pension reform, while 60 percent support the Queens convention center.

“A constitutional amendment to legalize non-Indian casinos in New York divides voters virtually down the middle. However, this is not an issue that divides voters by region, party or ideology. In fact, voters of every region, party and ideology are nearly evenly divided,” Greenberg said. “Gender and age are more predictive of voters‟ positions, with men more supportive than women and young voters more supportive than older voters.

“Support remains strong – 66-29 percent – for creating a new pension system to save government employers money and ask future government employees to contribute more toward their retirement. Pension reform has the strong support of voters from every party and region, and even has majority support among voters from union households,” Greenberg said. “The Governor‟s proposed new Queens convention center also continues to enjoy two-to-one support, including at least 60 percent of voters from every region and party.”

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Bloomberg, elected leaders visit Albany to push for pension reform

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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

Katen DeWitt / NY State Public Radio

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, along with mayors and county leaders from around New York, came to the state Capitol to support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s push for pension reform, saying they are “crashing and burning” under the rising costs.

Bloomberg, who organized the lobbying trip, says the issue is very simple—pension payments are driving municipalities to near bankruptcy.

“We really are up against it,” said Bloomberg. “We are going to have fewer services, we are going to have fewer employees, and in some cases we are going to have higher taxes if this continues.”

The Mayor and other city and county leaders from Rochester, Syracuse, Westchester and Suffolk say they’ve begun a bipartisan lobbying effort to back Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to enact a new benefit tier for future public workers. It would have reduced pension payments and for the first time, include an option of a 401(k)-style plan.

The mayors say they planned meetings with several key legislators to hope to convince them to adopt the governor’s plan, though Bloomberg had harsh words for the legislature’s policy on pensions over the years, which he called a “charade.”

“They keep going on and on, having both sides of every single issue,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg says when he first took office, annual pension costs were $1.5 billion a year for the City, now they are eight billion dollars annually.

State worker unions have opposed the proposed pension changes, saying future workers would see their retirement benefits reduced by as much as 40 percent, or, if they choose 401(k)s, will be subject to gyrations of the stock market. Governor Cuomo has said in recent days that he is “flexible” on whether the 401(k) option needs to be included in a pension reform agreement with the legislature.

“It’s not a philosophical debate,” Cuomo said Wednesday. “It’s about saving money.”

Cuomo says if the legislature can come up with an alternative plan that saves the $113 billion dollars that the governor estimates can be saved in future decades, then he’s willing to consider it.

Mayor Bloomberg says he’s not going to “complicate” Cuomo’s efforts by insisting on the 401(k) option for the pension reform plan, but he says defined benefit plans have become largely unaffordable.

Senate Republicans have said they are open to Cuomo’s pension reform changes, Assembly Democrats have not yet committed to it, and some Democrats oppose the plan.

Read More

Comments [2]

The Empire

DiNapoli on Wall Street's 'new normal' after report shows smaller profits, bonuses

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Courtesy of CSPAN

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report today highlighting the shrinking profits of Wall Street. According to the report, upcoming bonuses are projected to decline by 14 percent, as brokerage profits were less than half of what they were in 2010.

In a sit-down interview with WNYC’s Empire blog, the Comptroller said the good news was that the state and city had both planned for decreased revenue from the financial industry in their budgets. But more importantly, DiNapoli said, the shrinking of Wall Street profits could be a good thing.

“As we move towards more implementation of federal regulatory oversight, where the emphasis will be on transparency, accountability in compensation, tying it to long-term profitability, less leverage, higher cash reserves--all of that adjustment, which we're seeing the beginnings of in terms of impact, that's probably going to continue,” he said. “If that produces an industry that is profitable, at a sustained level, we may not have the peaks we had a few years ago ever again but if the tradeoff is that we won't have the kind of valley that we had in ‘08 and ‘09 i think that's good for everyone--certainly from the point of view of planning for city and state budgets; it will make it much easier.”

DiNapoli said he couldn’t say for sure if the trend on Wall Street was “the new normal”, but he did note that just like this month has seen an improvement in the markets—the Dow hit 13,000 for the first time since 2008 this week—last February started the year out strong.

“"That's not how the rest of the year played out,” he said.

From the government spending side, he said both the city and state budgets have already started responding to the possible permanence of a smaller Wall Street.

“I think we've already anticipated this trend,” he said. “We just have to continue to monitor carefully where it's all headed.”

Read More

Comments [1]