Pension Forfeiture Left Out of New York Ethics Reforms, For Now


New York lawmakers passed a series of ethics reforms late this week, but one portion of the package was conspicuously left on the Assembly floor: the proposal that dealt with pension forfeiture.

In short, the measure would have stripped pensions from public officials convicted of crimes related to their public work.

But lawmakers said they would vote on the measure when they come back for the next legislative session on April 21.

From Capitol Confidential:

Assembly Speaker Carl Hesatie said members will vote on and adopt a resolution to change the state constitution as it relates to pension forfeiture when they return for session April 21.

The legislation, which would extend the pension forfeiture law passed in 2011 to public officials who entered the retirement system before 2011, was passed by the Senate Tuesday night as other ethics reforms part of the state budget also passed. The constitutional update forces state officers, including legislators, who are convicted of public corruption to lose their state retirement benefits.

Changes to the constitution must be passed by two consecutive Legislatures. They then go on the ballot to be voted on by the general public.

Some lawmakers reportedly had concerns about the pension forfeiture proposal, because it requires a constitutional tweak.


Photo by Tim (Timothy) Pearce via Flickr CC License

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