Governor Kathy Hochul proposed a shockingly irresponsible budget in January, but her election-year deal with lawmakers last week went a long way worse.
That Bottom line told Much of the story: Spending is now set at $220 billion — a staggering $47 billion (27%) increase from fiscal 2020. Yes, a good chunk of that is coming from Uncle Sam, but the New Yorkers will be on the hook long after federal aid runs out.
Still, it is the covert giveaways of the 11 hour deal – particularly to labor groups – that reveal the true depths of Albany’s cynicism. As the tax expert of the Empire Center Peter Warren noticedUnions acting like bandits as Hochul hopes to gain support in November elections.
Consider the agreement actually rolls back some modest pension plan reforms that had resulted in sizeable savings — $1 billion last year alone. The reforms were a crucial step in defusing a pension time bomb that had pushed the state pension bill from $1 billion in 2000 to $17 billion in 2015.
These improvements, passed in 2010 and 2012, increased the waiting time for new employees from five to 10 years and required higher-earning employees to pay more into their retirement plans. But last week’s deal turned back time to five years and scrapped the use of overtime pay in calculating employee contributions. This not only shifted more costs onto taxpayers, but also restored an incentive for employees to abuse OT, another blow to the public.
Why the shift? As Warren notes, the state is not facing a recruitment crisis new york retirement benefits, were more generous than in the private sector even after the reforms. Yet the unions never stopped grumbling, and this year they managed to roll a random governor ahead of an election.
Workers’ groups have been big winners in many other ways as well. Hochul’s buffalo billion, a terrible last-minute mega-subsidy to the wealthy out-of-state owners of the Buffalo Bills for a new stadium, includes requirements that will boost construction costs by 20% to benefit construction unions. Similar “prevailing wage rules” would apply to projects funded by the proposed $4.2 billion green bond.
The budget also includes billions for healthcare workers and $1.3 billion for the film industry over three years. And give money enroll illegal immigrants over 65 on Medicaid plus monster spending hikes for education. And on and on. . .
At this rate, Hochul & Co. will surely run out of other people’s money soon. Oh, don’t expect that to stop her.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/15/new-yorks-new-budget-is-packed-with-rich-giveaways-and-special-interests/ New York’s new budget is packed with bountiful giveaways and special interests