In the irony of all ironies, New York State has – for decades – awarded pensions to private lobbyists who lobby against out-of-control pensions. According to Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-Buffalo), “There is the ultimate irony here. In particular with NYSAC (New York State Association of Counties)), they lobby on pensions, unfunded government mandates and they tell you pension costs are a big problem for their clients, which are county governments.” They never mention they are big pension beneficiaries themselves!
The NYSAC and the New York Conference of Mayors are two offenders whose employees (private lobbyists) receive pensions.
Sean Ryan and Sen. George Maziarz (R-Newfane) have co-sponsored a bill to stop the practice. It seeks to block future employees of private lobbying groups from the state pension system. It may be impossible to kick lobbyists out who are already in the system since under the constitution, once they are allowed in, they are in forever.
The Senator said most of his colleagues and Gov. Cuomo knew nothing of the practice. It was the press that brought it to light.
The two lawmakers came up with the bill after their original proposal to drop the practice was abruptly dropped behind closed-door budget negotiations.
In August, the media reported that NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario made $204,000 a year as a private worker, and was in the public pension system meant for government workers.
He was only one of hundreds in at least 20 states who is getting a public pension because he is lobbying for associations of counties, cities, and school boards, according to The Associated Press.
They often get health benefits too!
Of cours they do! We have money to burn, don’t we?