Yesterday, both the State Assembly and Senate passed their one-house budget resolutions. These resolutions are in reality “tweaks” to the Governor’s proposal, signaling the true beginning of serious budget negotiations.
With the new state fiscal year beginning April 1st, the next 20 days are going to either be a quick sprint or a long, slow walk. One issue (maybe two issues) are front and center as these negotiations begin, Tier VI (or apparently that term is not to be used, so pension reform). The other seemingly, maybe, potentially, is finality to the redistricting debate. But I will leave that one to the media to unwrap.
As I have previously posted here, and as expected, both the Assembly and Senate failed to incorporate Governor Cuomo’s Tier – oops, pension reform plan in their respective budget resolutions. While the Senate Majority has stated that they “support pension reform” and will look at what the Governor proposes (as indicated by Senator DeFrancisco’s quote here), I am somewhat perplexed. Hasn’t the Governor already proposed pension reform? Clearly negotiations have begun, and with it the “Albany dance”.
For the taxpayers of New York, I leave you a sliver of hope. Yesterday, Governor Cuomo explicitly stated that without pension reform, there will not be a budget agreement. Stay tuned….