Last week, Pension360 reported on the re-emergence of a New York City Council resolution that would boost police disability benefits.
At the time, a majority of councilmembers were on board with the resolution.
But between last week and now, things have changed: this week, five councilmembers withdrew their support for the measure.
A few of them said they changed their mind after they were asked to reconsider their stance by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Details from Capital New York:
Five members of the City Council are withdrawing their support for a resolution that would boost disability pension benefits for New York City police officers and firefighters.
The five offered varying reasons for removing their names from the resolution, which is a priority for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union that’s been at odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Several Council members said they changed their minds after Mark-Viverito and her staff asked them to reconsider. Eric Koch, a spokesman for Mark-Viverito, denied the Speaker made any such calls, but did not dispute that her staff had reached out to members.
The list of council members who changed their minds:
Councilman Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn had signed onto the proposal last week, but withdrew his support over a “procedural issue,” his spokesman said.
The other members who backed away from the resolution are: Danny Dromm of Queens and Robert Cornegy of Brooklyn, both of whom did not respond to repeated requests for comment; Donovan Richards of Queens, who declined comment; and Daneek Miller of Queens.
The measure would boost police disability pensions by altering the tier system that dictates benefits. Crain’s explains:
[The measure] would increase disability pensions for police hired after July 2009. It has been introduced annually in response to Mr. Paterson’s veto of a bill to move newly hired officers to the more generous Tier II pension from Tier III.
Members of Tier III work for 22 years, instead of 20, to collect full-service pensions. Their disability benefits are 44% of their last three years of salary with an offset for Social Security benefits, instead of 75% of the final year’s salary with no offset.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out against the measure, and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is undecided.
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