VOTE NO! NOVEMBER 7, 2017 **note you must turn ballot over and check no.

 

This is for anyone in the NYS retirement system - whether you work/worked in a school, town, city, jail, county or state agency....


TO All NYS PENSION ELIGIBLE AND RECEIVING FRIENDS. There is a push by some political factions in New York State to hold a new Constitutional Convention. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expressed his belief in the past that a state constitutional convention is the best route to achieve comprehensive reform in New York. You can bet he will be pushing for it to happen. Not only would a Constitutional Convention needlessly cost the New York State taxpayers an estimated $100-million, but it could jeopardize the current level of pension benefits already received by retirees and promised to active members. Public sector pensions are guaranteed against diminution thanks to powerful language present in the New York State Constitution. In the event of a Constitutional Convention, the language could be tampered with, thus eliminating that guarantee and paving the way for a reduced pension benefit. It won't matter if you have been retired 1 year or 20 years. YOUR BENEFITS WILL BE REDUCED, YOUR PENSIONS WILL BE REDUCED. THE MONEY THAT YOU HAVE SPENT YEARS WORKING FOR, PAYING TAXES ON AND SPENDING COUNTLESS HOURS OF OVERTIME BUILDING UP FOR RETIREMENT, WILL BE DIMINISHED. A Convention may open up New York’s Constitution to hastily thought out changes and reversal of laws and protections that in some cases took more than 200 years to put into effect; and for police, firefighters, paramedics, Corrections, sanitation workers, teachers, MTA, hospitals, etc, benefits that took decades to achieve. THIS WILL AFFECT ALL NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC RETIREES. A referendum whether or not to engage in a Constitutional Convention will be on the ballot for voters in the next election, November 7, 2017. VOTE "NO" when and if the CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION is placed on the ballot in November of 2017. There are much better ways in which $100-million or so of our tax dollars may be spent.


 · CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL · LATEST NEWS FROM THE TIMES UNION CAPITOL BUREAU Public sector retirees raise alarm over Constitutional Convention By Rick Karlin, Capitol bureau on September 28, 2016 at 3:36 PM Public sector employees in New York have long taken comfort in the fact that their pensions are protected under the state constitution. But fears that this situation could be altered in a voter-approved Constitutional Convention has retirees alarmed and they are starting to urge a ”No” vote in the upcoming, once-every-twenty-year public ballot about whether there should be such a convention. “How do we convince them that this is not a good idea?” asked Ed Farrell, executive director of the Retired Public Employees Association, who spoke to a membership meeting Wednesday at the Albany Marriott. “You will also see people saying conversely that we should do this,” he added. To be sure, the path to a Constitutional Convention is a long one and the odds historically are against it. There have been just three in the last 100 years. And even if state voters approved the idea next November, the actual Convention or Con-Con, wouldn’t convene until April 2019. Nor is there any guarantee that changes to the pension system would result from a Con-Con since such an event could cover the landscape of possible changes ranging from environmental protection in the Adirondacks to the way the courts operate. Moreover, current pensioners would likely be grandfathered in under any changes. And such a development, were it to occur, would almost certainly end up in court, said Farrell. But the concept that a group of elected convention delegates could potentially alter public pension protections by changing the state Constitution prompted moans and some angry mutterings from Wednesday’s audience of state and municipal pensioners. Those who enter the public sector often do so in part for the security of a guaranteed pension, so any talk of a change doesn’t sit very well. Moreover, Farrell pointed out that the current mood among the public is against much of the status quo. Add that to the widespread revulsion created by the spectacle of convicted lawmakers like Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos keeping their constitutionally protected pensions and there could be a fair number of ”yes” voters in November 2017. Farrell pointed to a recent Siena poll from late June showing that 68 percent of New Yorkers favor the idea of a Con-Con. But 66 percent were unaware of the issue. That, combined with 2017’s status as an off-year in the election cycle (the New York City mayoralty is up then) has the makings of a potential push by opponents and supporters of a Con-Con, both of whom will try and spur a turnout. Opponents will likely argue that there are other ways, rather than a constitutional convention, to fix things. Voters can approve referendums to amend the Constitution, such as what happened when they approved casino gambling two years ago. And lawmakers this year started the process for a referendum that would allow a Constitutional amendment to strip felonious lawmakers of their pensions. And they can point to past Con-Cons which didn’t necessarily make things better. Con-Con delegates make their own rules. In the 1967 Con-Con, for instance, all of the proposed changes were consolidated into on a single up or down vote. The big controversy was to repeal the prohibition on public funding of religious schools. The changes failed. Back then, a Con-Con was opposed by some strange bedfellows including trial lawyers and environmentalists (who have recently said the Adirondack wilderness and other protections should stay in place) as well as women’s rights groups. The latter feared a Con-Con would be used to diminish reproductive rights. Also, opponents can remind voters that lawmakers, who benefit greatly from the status quo, could also seek to be Con-Con delegates. And the public can amend the Constitution through a ballot referendum, such as happened when they approved casino gambling two years ago. In addition to the retirees, other public sector groups including the state teachers union have already weighed in against a Con-Con. It’s unclear where a majority of elected officials — who can try and become Con-Con delegates stand on this, but one, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who spoke to the retirees on Wednesday, said he was opposed to a Con-Con. “I’m opposed to a constitutional convention,” he said. Still one of the biggest subtexts in the November 2017 vote may be the sense of corruption and dysfunction that state government is mired in, which could prompt people to vote ”yes” just for the sake of a possible change. “People think we need to fix things,” said Farrell. http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/267960/public-sector-retirees-raise-alarm-over-constitutional-convention/