ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is putting his popularity and his early record on the line as never before as the Legislature digs in for the first time over issues that will affect New Yorkers for 10 years.
The Democratic governor is insisting the Legislature adopt a less expensive pension system for future public workers. He says the reform supported in the polls is “one of the seminal clashes of this budget and of my administration” because taxpayers can no longer afford the traditional pension for the next generations of state and local public workers.
Yet the Senate Republican and the Assembly Democratic majorities presented 2012-13 budget proposals Monday without Cuomo’s pension proposal, which is strongly opposed by public worker unions. They’ve also released new proposals for the political boundaries that will define election districts for the next decade, with few changes to the original plans that Cuomo opposed.
Now begins Albany’s notorious backroom horse-trading, part of the process that legislators and Cuomo as candidates vowed to reform as a way to end years of dysfunction and partisan gridlock.