Remember the old saying about the month of March, “in like a lion, out like a lamb” or vice versa? Well, in Albany there usually are no lambs in March. If the last two days are any indication, the fight for pension reform is already escalating beyond the “lion” stage.
Yesterday, there were two significant developments that indicate political leaders were “falling off the wagon” and putting self-interests, or perhaps personal political survival, above the needs of taxpayers.
Two quotes indicate a serious disconnect on pension reform, of which two-thirds of New Yorkers support, and the path some of our prominent legislative leaders seemingly are taking. The first comes from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who seems to think the best way to get significant pension reform is to negotiate with unions. The second, from Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous, who seems to agree, and stated that the Governor’s Tier VI proposal needs “alot of work”.
So the question is, are leaders in the legislature serious about the needs of most New Yorkers – the taxpayers, or just worried about their own political needs?
Also yesterday, I spoke at a press conference with some of my partners in the Let New York Work coalition, reaffirming our steadfast support for the Governor’s proposal and urging the legislature to do their part in helping provide fiscal stability to our schools and communities.
The next few days, as the respective majorities in the legislature issue their budget proposals, will signal how close or divided they are from what the Governor has proposed on pension reform. And then, this March lion is sure to roar again.