The Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Majority Leader of the NYS Senate
The Honorable Carl E. Heastie, Speaker of the NYS Assembly
Dear Madam Majority Leader and Mr. Speaker:
On behalf of the more than one million active and retired members of the New York State Public Employee Conference (NYSPEC), I write today with respect to Governor Hochul’s blanket veto of 19 bills impacting public employees, issued December 16, 2022.
The veto message cites total potential fiscal liabilities to the state and local governments of more than “$361 million in the near term and as high as $1.4 billion in the long-term costs.”. While not necessarily agreeing with these fiscal projections, I ask how many thousands upon thousands of bills have been enacted over the years without a “funding source or plan to cover their costs in the current fiscal year or future years.”?
It is important to note the disregard of certain crucial realities of some of these measures, such as unanimous passage by both houses, the correction of long-time inequities (often with negligible cost), the presence of home rule messages, etc.
Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed by this blanket veto, and hereby request that together, you move to override the Executive’s veto.
While recognizing the magnitude of this request, particularly in light of the fact that there has not been an override (other than of certain budget line items) in almost one-quarter of a century, please be aware that, should you decide not to move to override, we hereby request and strongly urge that you consider the inclusion of the instant measures in your respective one-house budget proposals for FY 2023-24.
As you may already be aware, at NYSPEC’s annual meeting earlier this month, it was unanimously decided that, absent unforeseen circumstances, the issue of pension tier equity will be NYSPEC’s number one legislative priority going forward. In pursuit of this goal, we will be seeking to meet with you on this priority early in January.
Peter D. Meringolo,
New York State Public Employee Conference