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State senator introduces bill to cap 'golden parachutes' for authority workers

A second state lawmaker has introduced a bill to curb so-called golden parachutes at New York's public authorities after the Erie County Water Authority gave its executive director a deal guaranteeing him up to $400,000 if he's fired without cause this year.

“Six-figure golden parachutes that guarantee a payout of more than double an employee’s salary are a wasteful use of public resources,” said Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst. “Public authorities are spending taxpayer dollars, and these dollars would be better reserved for the actual purpose for why the authority was formed. That is why I have introduced legislation to end this lavish practice.”

Ranzenhofer's bill would cap severance at 10 weeks of the employee's salary. A similar bill proposed recently by Assemblywoman Monica P. Wallace, D-Lancaster, would cap severance at three months' pay for at-will employees. Wallace's bill has not been introduced yet.

Wallace was reacting to revelations that Republican commissioners at the Erie County Water Authority gave their Republican-appointed Executive Director Earl L. Jann Jr. a three-year contract after it became clear Democrats would take control of the agency later this year. The pact guarantees Jann his full salary through 2020 if fired without cause.

Like Wallace's proposal, Ranzenhofer's bill would not change Jann's contract if it becomes law.




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