VIDEO: Legislative leaders support Cuomo’s pension smoothing

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Legislative leaders emerged from a closed-door meeting today, saying that budget negotiations continue and that they will support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to let local governments smooth out their pension costs.

Cuomo proposed in his 2013-14 budget plan to allow local governments and schools spread out the spikes in pension costs over 25 years, giving them the option to limit increases in retirement costs.-

“All of us think it’s important to help our local governments as best as we can,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan said. Still, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and the state Teacher’s Retirement System would have to sign off on the deal, but neither has done so yet.

Some local government leaders said they support Cuomo’s plan, but Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has been outspoken against the proposal, saying it would only lead to higher future costs for municipalities.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, told reporters that the measure would be optional for governments and schools.

“That’s the position taken by some mayors, other mayors have different positions. It’s a choice that elected officials have to make locally,” Skelos said.

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