Pension problems could mean higher taxes, falling tree kills woman, Troy ramps up for the War on Crows

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced that a big jump in state pension fund contributions will be necessary to keep the fund afloat. He says state and local government will need to come up with $1.3 billion more next year. And you know what that means: budget cuts, higher taxes -- or both. Local leaders are irked. Harry Wilson, the Republican candidate for comptroller, argues the state's pension situation is even worse than what DiNapoli describes. [NYS OSC] [YNN] [TU] [WTEN] [Wilson campaign]

A federal grant will allow Saratoga Springs to fill seven vacant fire fighter positions. The city cut the positions earlier this year to cover a budget hole. [Saratogian] [YNN]

A multiple-car crash on alternate Route 7 killed one person and shut down the road in both directions Thursday evening. [TU] [CBS6]

State police say a Saratoga Springs woman was killed in Malta Wednesday night when a tree fell and struck the car in which she was riding. [Saratogian]

The Schenectady man who pleaded guilty setting a woman on fire has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and $26k in restitution. [TU]

State police say a Scotia woman filed a false report of a kidnapping in an attempt to damage the credibility of a witness scheduled to testify against a motorcycle gang member. [CBS6]

A new pavilion in Troy's Prospect Park has prompted a lot of squabbling. [Troy Record]

Pedro Espada isn't going down without a fight. [NYT]

The NYDN reports that Sheldon Silver holds stock in 30 companies with business before the state -- but Silver won't disclose how much. [NYDN]

Troy is planning to wage the War on Crows again this year with fireworks, lasers and loudspeakers playing crow distress calls. [Troy Record]

The renovated McGeary's pub in downtown Albany opens today with Tess Collins -- Lark Tavern Tess -- as manager. [Daily Gazette]


"State comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced that a big jump in state pension fund contributions will be necessary to keep the fund afloat."

Public employers, and the taxpayer, maintained unreasonably-low contribution rates for years, effectively postponing their pension obligations for short-term savings. Current increases in employer contributions only constitute what is due and owing to the pension system. (Employer contributions during the years of 1991 – 1995, and 1998 – 2003 were extremely low. For example, the local government rate for the ERS in 2000 was 0.1 percent, that is, one-tenth of one percent. The following year it was 0.2 percent. Local governments had a full decade of low rates similar to these.)

There is no "alternate Route 7". It cannot be found on any map nor are there any signs on any road stating such. Please stop making references to a non-existent road.

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