The following is a statement by Steve Katz, candidate for NY Senate (40th District) concerning his Assembly vote against the Tier VI Pension Plan.
For additional information and/or comment, please contact Kevin Mercuri. email@example.com or call 212-901-6914 ext 107.
MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2012; STATEMENT OF STEVE KATZ
“I voted against the Tier VI Pension Plan we were offered because it in no way matched the original intention and became a lie, and a farce without any meaningful reform.
First of all the idea of creating a Tier VI was meant to relieve pressure on the tax payer’s back breaking requirement to contribute to the state and municipal worker’s pension fund by creating a mandatory 401K program. It was then watered down to an optional 401K. The final bill completely eliminates the 401K option for union members and makes it available for non-union employees earning over $75,000 in annual salary.
Naturally that makes all new members of the State Senate and Assembly eligible for the 401K option. So our legislators voted to give themselves the benefits of a 401K pension plan but NOT the union members. That’s what we call hypocrisy.
Secondly, the new members of the New York City Fireman and Police Unions are exempt from joining the Tier VI plan. The Fireman and Police in my district and the rest of the state work as hard as their NYC comrades but are being discriminated against by forcing new members into the Tier VI PROGRAM. What’s good enough for one group should be good enough for all. Another piece of expedient legislative hypocrisy.
The Tier VI plan is being hailed as the great savior of our counties and a blow against runaway pension costs. The reality is that we will see no relief from this legislation for nearly 30 years when the next generation of civil employees retires. I am demanding pension reform NOW, in the form of New York State adhering to the federal Medicaid minimum requirements, as practiced in 47 states. A Constitutional Amendment requiring current employees to contribute 3% more to their pensions would save the overburdened tax payers billions of dollars NOW. Another excellent option would be for Albany to accept the recommendation of NYSAC (New York State Association of Counties). These recommendations were made in a bipartisan manner by the 62 county executives of New York State. These are the true experts whose counties have been so afflicted by the unfunded mandates. The NYSAC recommendations are being completely ignored by both the Governor and the legislature. Real mandate reform would take political courage, which is woefully lacking in Albany.
This bill kicks the can down the road again. Cities and Counties are borrowing from the pension fund to pay pensions, burdening our children with our irresponsible mistakes.
Our counties need relief NOW. Not 30 years from now. I will only vote for bills that will provide our counties with true mandate relief. Smoke and Mirror bills such as this are nothing more than self-congratulatory headline grabbers, which do nothing more than provide cover for hypocritical, self-serving, reelection driven career politicians. My vote was a vote of conscience and concern for the future of our state and our children.”
© 2012 Katz4ny.com All Rights Reserved. Authorized & Paid for by Steve Katz for Senate.