After a ten day hiatus, the Legislature returns to Albany on Monday, for the stretch drive to wrap up the 2017 session on the projected June 21 adjournment date.
RPEA had victories in the budget process and we are hopeful for some movement on the bills in our Legislative Program. We remain vigilant in opposing legislation harmful to our members and are hopeful for action on several of our bills which would benefit the members. These bills include: an increase in the survivors’ benefit from the Retirement System; an increase in the amount that a retiree may earn upon returning to public employment without triggering a suspension of retirement benefits; and requiring a 90 day notice provision for any local government proposing to change retiree health benefits.
We will keep you posted as things develop. A full listing of the entire Legislative Program, including bill number, status, and our memo in support is found on our website www.rpea.org. Members are encouraged to contact their legislators regarding any of the bills listed there.
SAVE THE DATE
The 2017 Annual Meeting is set for Wednesday, September 27th , at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy. Mark your calendar, and more information will be forthcoming as the date approaches.
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION-VOTE NO!
As you know, the New York Constitution contains a provision that every twenty years the voters are asked if they want to convene a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) for the purpose of amending the constitution. That question will be on the ballot this November.
In order to inform you about the issues surrounding possibly convening a convention, RPEA is running certain questions and answers about the topic. This is part of an on-going effort to “get the word out”.
Can there be a “limited” convention to just fix the sections that need fixing?
- No. The convention delegates set their own rules and agenda. They cannot be limited regarding what they choose to examine.
How are the delegates selected?
- Delegates gain access to the ballot through the petition process, just as those running for a state office currently do. In the past, the at-large delegates have not been voted for individually, but rather as a slate of candidates.
Who can be a delegate?
- Anyone who is eligible to vote may run to be a delegate, including legislators and other elected officials.
Elected officials are allowed to collect two public salaries (double dipping is not prohibited), and this inflated double salary can be included in “final average salary” when determining pension benefits. The last time a convention was held (1967), 80% of the delegates were public officials.