May 2017, Post 13 Trivia – NEOTWY

May 2017
Post 13 Trivia – NEOTWY
John Young, Patrolman

WHEN: Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2017

WHERE: Question or Proposal at the bottom of the ballot: SHALL THERE BE A CONVENTION TO REVISE THE CONSTITUTION & AMEND SAME?

WHO: Governor Cuomo, Citizens Groups, Hedge Funds, and some of your neighbors want pension reform, especially civil service. Neighbors lost monies in their 401 accounts, while pension funds received money from taxpayers. They want to get their hands on monies from various pension funds. The Police Pension Fund (NYPD) has 36,000 active members and 43,000 retirees. Our fund has about 34 billion dollars that is controlled by a Board of Trustees. The City has six votes and the line organizations have six votes and no monies can go into hedge funds unless we give them a vote.

WHAT: Art XIX, Sec 2 New York State Constitution of 1894 was amended in 1957 that questioned whether the following be automatically placed on the New York general election ballot…that is to hold a Constitutional Convention every 20 years. It was voted down in 1977 – 59.68% voted “NO” and 40.32% voted “YES.” New York voters turned down the same question in 1997 – 62.95% voted “NO” and 37.05% voted “YES.”

HOW: There were three Constitutional Conventions in New York during the last century – 1915, 1938 and 1967. Most cops remember the last one because of a new Penal Law. However, an amendment in the 1938 convention gave protection to State and City pensions with the following provision: “After July 1, 1940, membership in any pension or retirement system of the State or a civil division thereof…..the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

Even with that protection, law makers can make pension reforms. New cops like those hired after 2009, have to work 22 years, do not get a 3/4 pension for line-of-duty injuries and their pension is reduced once they start collecting social security. Legislation was submitted by the PBA & City to restore 3/4 disability pensions, but that probably cost a couple of points in the contract negotiations. Let’s hope the Governor does not veto it!

WHY: We must protect what we have! We have to protect our pensions by voting NO on a Constitutional Convention. As I told one politician, “I’ll vote yes, if he would put term limits on the ballot for State Senators or Assemblymen/woman.” Yea, right! Term limits for people who do not work 2088 hours a year like Police Officers and only spend two or three days per week in Albany?

Note: May 15th, 2017 is National Peace Officer Memorial Day. Remember to fly the American flag at half-mast on that day to show honor to our fallen brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement.