This Week in Albany

Week ending September 6, 2019

Senator Bill Larkin

Former State Senator William Larkin Jr. (R-Orange County) passed away this week at the age of 91.

Senator Larkin dedicated his life to public service. Larkin served in the Army for 23 years, including service in World War II and the Korean War. He served as New Windsor Town Supervisor before spending 12 years in the State Assembly and 28 years in the State Senate. Senator Larkin retired last year, and was one of the last World War II veterans to serve in a state legislature anywhere in the country.

Senator Larkin was widely respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. He sponsored numerous important pieces of legislation over years, including as the main sponsor of a 2016 law to allow all veterans to purchase up to three years of pension credit for their military service.

Senator Larkin was a long time friend to CSEA. We thank him for his service and our thoughts are with his family. He will be missed.

Pension Fund

Comptroller DiNapoli announced that employer contribution rates for the New York State and Local Retirement System will remain flat for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The Comptroller also lowered the long-term expected rate of return for the Common Retirement Fund from 7% to 6.8%. Because of Comptroller DiNapoli’s shrewd management of the Fund, it remains one of the best funded in the nation at 96.1%.

Climate activists and lawmakers continue to urge the Comptroller to immediately divest the Fund from fossil fuel companies. CSEA urges the Comptroller to reject this pressure. Divestment mandates would make it more difficult for the Fund to make prudent investment decisions and would limit available growth opportunities to ensure the Fund is solvent for current and future retirees. The Common Retirement Fund has never been a tool to make political statements, and we do not believe that it should start now.

Never Forget

CSEA remembers the lives of all who were lost on September 11, 2001, including CSEA members Yvette Anderson, Florence Cohen, Harry Goody, Marian “Marty” Hrycak and Dorothy Temple.