Yes…the basketball tournament has begun, but before we all get glued to our televisions or radios, significant “madness” occurred in and around the State Capitol last night (or very, very early this morning).
What started as an agreement on redistricting late yesterday afternoon quickly progressed to an avalanche of legislative activity. As the sun rose, legislation was passed on most of the major items that have been debated so far this year. From NFIB/NY’s perspective, the most significant agreement was on pension reform (Tier VI).
Since this blog adventure started for me a few weeks ago, the bulk of the content has been on the Tier VI debate. Reigning in the costs that are causing enormous fiscal strain on our schools and communities is paramount to ensuring a prosperous future for New York. Pension costs were a significant barrier for school districts and communities of all sizes. Critical services were being threatened, the possibility of layoffs were real and the burden on taxpayers was severely impacting both consumers and small business owners alike. Action was needed. Real action.
While the eventual agreement on Tier VI was not exactly what Governor Cuomo had proposed, it solidly took a step forward and helped create more equity between the private and public sector as well as provide adequate protections for New York’s financial future.
NFIB/NY was proud to work with both the legislature and Governor on this important issue and this morning thanked them for their commitment to seeing this needed reform through.
As the dust settles, the coming days will see resolution to the state budget and what I hope is a significant focus on the immediate financial concerns for New York’s small business owners and taxpayers.
There is more work to be done, there always is. But the madness so far this March hasn’t busted any brackets. Well…maybe it has for a few.