Daily News Slams Abbate, Colton For Proposing Benefit Boost To Public Employees Amid Financial Crisis

Peter Abbate Source: assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblymen Peter Abbate and William Colton introduced eight new bills that would increase pensions and retirement benefits for government workers, according to a report by the New York Daily News – and that’s got the paper’s editors fuming.

The cost of the new bills would total $1.35 billion dollars a year, a figure that opponents of the legislation feel are too high and irresponsible during the ongoing economic slump. The Daily News jumped over the news of the proposed legislation in a scathing editorial:

As overgenerous public employee pensions hammer taxpayers and push governments to the edge of bankruptcy, Assembly Democrats are dreaming up ways to make retirements richer.
They filed no fewer than eight pension-fattening bills on Valentine’s Day eve — pitching woo to their labor sweethearts at huge public expense. The potential cost to taxpayers, as calculated by the Citizens Budget Commission: $1.3 billion.
Labor lovebird-in-chief Peter Abbate of Brooklyn, head of the Governmental Employees Committee, sponsored seven. The eighth was authored by fellow Brooklynite William Colton.
… The most outrageous of Abbate and Colton’s proposals would boost payouts to workers with more than 30 years’ service, adding $1.1 billion to the taxpayers’ tab. Other schemes enable various groups of employees to retire even earlier than they already do, or make it even easier for them to qualify for disability benefits — whether or not they were actually injured on the job.

Abbate, was quick to try and stem the outcry from conservative voices opposed to the legislation.

“No one is saying they are going to pass, but you give everybody a chance to be heard and to explain the bills,” Abbate told the Daily News.