Tier VI Brings March in Like A Lion

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?

NFIB/NY State Director Mike Durant (R) with Bob Reidy (L), Executive Director of the State Council of School Superintendents speaking at a press conference on March 6th.

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.



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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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