Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill today that would have let school districts pay for rising pension costs by borrowing money.
The bonds wouldn't have had to go before voters to be approved, so some — like wonk extraordinaire EJ McMahon of the Manhattan Institute — argued that it was a way around the 2 percent property tax cap. The interest payments on the bonds would have led to tax increases in the future, Mr. Cuomo's administration said.
"The people of the State of New York have made it clear that they will no longer tolerate the fiscal irresponsibility and reckless spending that has driven their property taxes through the roof," Mr. Cuomo said in a news release announcing the veto.
Assemblywoman Addie Russell, D-Theresa, and Sens. Joe Griffo, R-Rome and Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, voted to approve the bill. Mrs. Russell argued that it would help deal with an upcoming pension spike. Mr. Griffo said that if municipalities are allowed to do it, school districts should, too.
As for Mrs. Ritchie: "She was trying to work with the school districts to see if she could help them," spokesman Jim Reagen said. "She's looking for ways to work with them, and if this is something that can't be done, she's going to try to find other ways."
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, a Black River Republican, voted against the bill, for reasons along the lines that Mr. Cuomo signaled: that it was a financial boondoggle.